New Year Preparations or A Post of Lists

Just short of one year ago, I started this blog as an attempt to chronicle my own Happiness Project. While I admittedly failed in my chronicle, I don’t think I completely failed in my project itself. As the year draws to a close, I recognize a number of changes I have made in my life that have contributed dramatically to my own happiness. And so, without further ado, the things I have learned in 2010 which also, coincidentally, are the things I hope to keep doing in 2011.

  1. Living alone is the single most important thing for me as an introvert. It’s not that I don’t love people… it’s that at the end of the day, coming home to an empty house and the knowledge that I don’t have to say another single word elicits a literal sigh of relief. Every. Single. Time.
  2. Clean eating makes my body happier. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my processed box of Whole Foods macaroni and cheese… but I don’t love the feeling of lethargy and cravings for more calories that I feel immediately after consuming it. The feeling of satisfaction and energy after a meal of whole foods is well worth the extra effort it takes to prepare.
  3. On a related note: I love cheese. Cheese does not love me. 2011 will probably be a year of finding more balance here.
  4. Following my dreams, even at the expense of uncertainty, is a major happiness booster.
  5. I am built for community. I love mine, and going out of my comfort zone to see the people in my community is worth it.
  6. Learning to lean on people is worth the risk.
  7. Boundaries are important. It is okay to set them, even when they are way overdue or sometimes cause initial pain.
  8. Money isn’t everything… but even though I budget well it is one of my biggest stressors. Going where I could make more money was a good decision, but continuing to budget will be important.
  9. I thrive on routine and predictability
  10. Planning each week ahead of time is really worth the investment of time. Not only am I more efficient each day, but it enables me to better live in each moment without worrying about what comes next.

And with this in mind, my New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Enjoy this season of living alone. It is hopefully only an interlude before a return to family life.
  2. Buy whole foods. Eat whole foods. And enjoy the occasional indulgence.
  3. Find a way to cut down on the cheese in my diet… but really enjoy every bite I do eat.
  4. Make a list of new dreams now that I’ve achieved many of my old ones.
  5. Say yes to opportunities to spend time with the people I love.
  6. Be vulnerable… even when I don’t want to. Allow people to help.
  7. Be thoughtful about boundaries I am setting. And then stick to them.
  8. Use Mint.com to establish a new budget… and then enjoy the new-found freedom.
  9. Be more thoughtful about my routines… and then look forward to them each day.
  10. Lay out a plan for each week, stick to it, and avoid getting sucked into the television. That’s the one sure-fire plan buster for me!

Oh… and just a few I probably should do more of:

  1. Spend time reading the Word every morning. Every. Morning.
  2. Get more exercise.

Still to come – a 2011 “Bucket List!” What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

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