Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Watch Out 2012, Here I Come

This will be the fourth year of resolutions published here on my blog.

In 2009, I set five goals, and I didn't stick to them very well, I must admit.

In 2010, my goal was "Make Everyday Count."  Focusing my goals for the year like that was much better for me than a list, and I felt a little more successful by the end of the year.

In 2011, I picked the word "Balance," and by doing so, bit off more than I could chew for the year.  I never felt like I balanced anything in my life, and I was left struggling with feelings about myself that were almost destructive.

It's now 2012 and I've been thinking about the direction I want to go.

You see, I've been struggling with myself, wondering if this person I've created over the last 42 years is really the person I should be. I've assembled a box around me, constructed of a strong will, belief in my abilities, busy doing things all the time.  I pride myself in my honesty, my opinion, my faith. I've always really liked who I am. But lately I've been wondering if this box I've built around myself is the box where I want to live the rest of my life.

I see so many amazing people around me, doing amazing things.  I especially notice when someone is really good at something I'm not, and then I wish I was more like they are. I beat myself up about my inability to be like them for a little while, then I resume my regular life in my regular place doing my regular things and staying pretty much in the same spot.  While I try not to minimize my strengths, I dwell too much on these weaknesses without any progress towards improvement.

Let's be honest.  If you have a strength, you really don't need to spend a ton of time making it better, right?  That's why it's a strength--you're already good at it, either from natural ability or from time devoted to improvement.  Unfortunately, I spend way too much time in the comfort of my strengths, thinking that they will pull me through and compensate for those areas in which I'm weak.  That line of thinking won't get me anywhere different, anywhere new.

This is my goal for 2012:

Image from here
Think outside the box I've built of myself and around myself.

I made a list of people I admire and the qualities they possess that I lack.  My plan is still in the rough stages--hopefully I'll have it mapped out completely by the end of the week, but I intend to do two things:
  • From my list of 20 people, pick one every day, and when presented with a situation, think, "What would ______ do?"  and then act accordingly--little things like taking time to cook something new or being willing to alter my schedule with no notice to help someone.
  • As the year progresses, I hope that my paradigm will shift so that I will subconsciously make these small changes permanent.
My hope is that by the end of the year, one or two of these new qualities will be part of my box--a part of who I am, not just someone I've always wished to be.  Hopes are high.

So, what have you set for your 2012 aspirations?  Link up below and share your goals with us. I linked up Tucker's last letter from NY with his goals as well.  Can't wait to see where you're headed.


  1. This is a great idea. I like your "think outside the box" strategy for this year!

    And I will link up tomorrow...


  2. It's quite ridiculous how our minds wander down the same path so often. This post describes so well the way I've been feeling lately. I love how you asked if this box is the box you want to live in the rest of your life. I'll link up later, but I have to admit I'm tempted to tweak my 2012 plan to be more like you :)

    And is it wrong that I really want to see your list and find out what qualities you chose? I wonder how many people could make similar lists and have the same people but different qualities? Or would we have the same ones listed?

  3. Excellent post Jen. You could have been writing about me. I will be thinking about this today, and will hopefully have a post of resolutions to add to your linky.

  4. I like you "non" list idea that is a bit more open ended.

  5. Love the theme. Self improvement is my favorite and most hated thing:) funny how it can be both...

  6. Perfect resolution! I love it! I don't set resolutions...but I like the idea of tangible goals. To be really broad, I want to live more simply this coming year...less is more...now if I can just figure how to do that!
    Happy new year!

  7. Very awesome!
    I think you are pretty great so as you are looking at people you admire, you'd better be on that list.

    I'm still working on my resolutions.

  8. Love this idea!! You are so right, it is easy just to be happy and not reach and grow but that isn't right is it. I wish you luck with thinking out of the box.
    Oh and you might want to go see my blog - like right now :)

  9. I love that idea of out of the box! So applicable to every facet of life!

    Keep us posted!

  10. My mind is still spinning from the holidays i think...but I really want to think of my own list/word for the new year. i love what you wrote here jen. Sometimes standing still and being the way we always have been is not a good thing...but on the other hand we need to keep our eyes on the positive right?!?:) You've got me thinking thats for sure.
    have a happy day jen!

    thanks for your comment today...been missing you and needing to catch up over here.:)

  11. First off, Tooele, is an amazing place to live. I love how the Oquirrh moutains shape the valley. It is beautiful. Second, I too have a sone on a mission. He is currently serving in the Oregon, Portland mission and will be returning home in a short 75 days. I am excited not only for myself, but I love connecting with moms that have children out on missions. It is an amazing experience.

    I love your "word/goal" of the year. I love the idea of thinking outside of the box, getting out of my comfort zone and allowing others in. I will follow you to see if how things are going. You have a beautiful family and I have found in my soon to be 45 years that sometimes these gifts, called children help us learn what living outside of the box is all about.

  12. Great resolution for this year and a very interesting approach to tackling it. I'm looking forward to seeing how your resolution will help you make the changes you want.

  13. fabulous strategy jen! i'm excited for this. i know what you mean about the self-constructed box. it protects me. nay, it OVERprotects me. i see mine and think to myself, "is this the box i wanna be buried in?" i think that's a lot of where my word, exhale, is supposed to kick in this year. to allow & teach me to loosen the nails & boards of this overbearing box i've put myself into. it's hard to see what's wrong in life & know it needs to change, yet not know exactly HOW that change'll come. so, i honestly adore your strategy. may have to adopt a modified version in my approach to this year. thanks again for inspiring me! ::hugs::