Sunday, January 01, 2017

2017 Resolutions: Fulfillment not Achievement

Well, since it is the first of the year I figure that I should list my resolutions. Since this is too long for a Facebook post it will be on the blog. Since I don’t update the blog any more I will link to it on Facebook. There is something wrong about that interaction but I cannot bother myself to solve it at the moment. As always, I post these in an effort to force myself to have some accountability in life because if it is on the internet it will last forever.

My overall theme for the year is “Fulfillment not Achievement”, which I am taking from something I heard from Tony Robbins of all people. I typically try to steer away from self-help gurus but this point made a lot of sense to me. I was wondering why I really hadn’t gone into full blown mid-life crisis mode, which given my lifestyle I should have long since passed. I realized that in a lot of ways I have achieved everything I have ever hoped for in life. I never thought that I would be so successful in my career, I live a very comfortable life and I even married the woman of my dreams (and in the process, I am continually discovering the challenges and enlightenments of relationships). It’s not a perfect life but I am in no position to complain. Yet I constantly complain.

What I realized is that I am focusing too much on achievement and not on fulfillment. Or, as my theologian on call asked me many years ago, “Are you getting any closer to a state of grace?” So, I am going to try to spend more time this year experiencing life and opening my eyes and less time checking imaginary boxes. Some of these resolutions may seem contradictory to that goal but trust me, if I can follow through with them I will be in a better place by the end of the year.

Resolution #1: Put Kim First: This shouldn’t be a resolution. It should already be ingrained in my being. But, I let my ego get in the way a lot of the time and all it does is add stress to life via situations where I know that I am in the wrong. I need to keep this front of mind.

Resolution #2: Complete my running goals (up to a 10K): After years of doing varying exercise routines to different degrees of success I have started to run again mainly because I actually enjoy it. I’m even one of those freaks that can enjoy running on a treadmill. I just like the simplicity of it. You start and then you finish. You have time and distance. You can stop whenever you want but the only thing that can keep you going is your own desire. Really want to do some 5K and 10K races this year and maybe, just maybe, think about a half marathon.

Resolution #3: Read one Jonathan Carroll novel a month (in order): Simply put, Jonathan Carroll is my favorite writer. The main reason I am still on Facebook is his daily pearls of wisdom that he shares. I’ve been reading him for twenty years and I just want to go back and immerse myself in his writing. While the books aren’t a series there are common themes and I just want to walk my way through them and regain my sense of wonder.

Resolution #4: Meditate for at least 10 minutes daily: I really need to work on my inner self this year. I’ve tried meditation before and have never really stuck with it but I think I have finally found a few starting points that have a lot less “woo” in them. If anything, I just need to find a way to quiet my thoughts and reconnect. I am very curious as to where this one will lead me.

Resolution #5: Discipline Equals Freedom: That is a quote from Jocko Wilinck, who is somebody you should look up if you want to find a combination of Navy Seal and Life Coach. Basically, it is the idea that when you have your routines and you follow them daily they become second nature and free up mental capacity for other challenges. It also forces you to do the tasks that you would rather put to the side because you have to do them. What this means for me is that I am setting up lists of what I need to do morning, afternoon and night and forcing myself to get them done.

Resolution #6: Take a real vacation: Kim and I haven’t taken a real vacation together for almost two years. We are both mentally fried as a result and just need to get away and free our minds from the stress of the world for a few days.

Resolution #7: Figure out what to do with the old blog posts and my writing goals: This is one of those things that has been on my list for a while. I’ve stopped writing due to time constraints though I would like to pick it up again. I also have millions of words in old blog posts that I really want to compile into something meaningful. I’m not quite sure how to go about it but I somehow need to find a way to write more and finish that project while fitting it into the rest of my schedule. I am open to suggestions here.

Resolution #8: Train Alyce to where she can be home alone: For those who don’t know, Alyce is our two-year-old dog who as I write this is sleeping peacefully on our couch. She has also destroyed multiple kennels in order to escape, has chewed dozens of hardcover books when left alone and is quite possibly plotting my demise in order to collect the insurance money. While her behavior has actually improved over the years I have to work with her on her separation anxiety so that we no longer need to have dog sitters in order to leave the house.

Resolution #9: Empathy not cynicism: This is going to be a challenge given that cynicism is basically my default setting. But, the more I look at the world today I feel that the most challenging and “punk rock” way of living one’s life is too be an empathetic human being. To actually give a damn about the people around you is an unexpected act. I want to keep this in mind.

Resolution #10: Build a five-year plan: It has been a while since I had a good five-year plan in place. Not a detailed outline of what I am going to accomplish but an overall set of goals and desires to aim for in life. I’ve found it a good tool to have in that I can always know where my endpoint is.

Well, there is the list. Feel free to add any suggestions as to how I can be a better person. I’m sure that is a very long list.

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