Resolutions Smesolutions

Forget New Year’s Resolutions.  All the cool kids are writing Life Lists.

I’ve said it before but I think it bears repeating that I’ve never really liked the idea of New Year’s Resolutions.  Maybe it’s because I don’t like being told what to do…even if I’m the one doing the telling. I also don’t like ruining the the prospect of a fresh and suprise-filled new year by setting myself up for failure.

For example: “I resolve to lose weight this year.”  This one’s a classic mistake and the reason gyms are packed in January and ghost towns by March.  It’s vague and doesn’t offer any path to success.  Sure, I’ll lose weight.  As soon as I eat my way through the mountain of Christmas cookies I accumulated and all those beers left over from our party.

That’s why I’m excited about the “life list” phenomenon.  I’m loath to call it a trend since that means I’m a follower. I was first inspired by this list from Nicole at Making it Lovely.  Her blog is fantastic and one of my regular reads.  She only gave herself six and a half months but, I’ve had a “30 before Thirty” list going for about a year now.  I’ll turn thirty this October so I wanted to give myself plenty of lead time.  Remember the part about not liking to set myself up for failure?

The last time I checked, I’m about a third of the way through.   Some were a conscious decision and some of them took care of themselves without me even thinking about it. It’s funny how the universe works sometimes.

If specific time frames aren’t your thing, you’re in luck.  If you’re not familiar already from her influential presence all over the blogosphere, head over to Mighty Girl and check out one heck of a Life List.  I only discovered Maggie’s blog recently when I realized she was encouraging all kinds of awesome bloggers that I read on the regular.  I could go on an on but her blog is fantastic and should definitely be on your list too.

The idea is pretty simple.  Write down things you’d like to do, see, experience, change, achieve, etc. The time frame is open ended.  For some, it’s a bucket list, for others, it’s a guideline or a kickstart to a new phase of their life. How you approach your list is up to you.  Some people attack them.  Other people use them as a way to visualize goals and shape decisions.  Look, I’m not trying to go all Oprah on you but I really do think having a list, no matter how long or short, can make you feel a little more purposeful and driven.  Isn’t that what the new year is all about?  Evaluating where you are in life and thinking about what direction you’re headed in?

I realize that this is the point in the post where I’m supposed to share my list but I don’t think I’m quite ready for that.  It needs some fine tuning from when I originally wrote it and I want to take my time.  In the meantime, check out these wonderful ladies I mentioned above and their brave lists.  If you have your own out in the there or, if there are any that you really like, please link them in the comments!

Where do you fall when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions?  Do they motivate you or bog you down?  Are lists more your style?

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