2016 Goals – How Did I Do?

I know I have not blogged in some time, so no better time than the present (i.e., the New Year)!

So, how did I do with my goals for 2016? Last year, I hoped to:

Think, Believe, and Act with a Healthy Balance

To do that, I decided to try / do FOUR things. So I would not forget them, I had them linked on the top of my blog AND I kept them next to my daily / next day / week to-do list, so they would never be far away.

  1. Delete-Do-File (of email, mail, communication, and expectations) — Pretty well, overall. I achieved #InboxZero several times during the year, and ended 2016 with a grand total of 11 emails in my Inbox. Alas, there were about Click Here to Continue Reading

Think, Believe, and Act with a Healthy Balance

future_visionTime for the New Year, and while I think setting goals is important at this time of the year (starting anew is a good thing, especially when we consider our changing needs, where we have been, and where we envision ourselves going next).

Last year I had a couple goals for 2015:

1. Engage in Timely Communication Continue reading “Think, Believe, and Act with a Healthy Balance”

Should, Must, Have to

Tree Looking UpTrying to catch my breath between work and teaching and my research project, I realized I have not posted my New Year’s Resolution for this year to once again share what I am thinking about (in the hopes that it may trigger some reflection, keep me honest, and perhaps give me some support). I think I did somewhat well with the one I worked on (as personal improvement) in 2009.

Now, for 2010, I am trying to be more present to the uses of the terms should, must, and have to. Perhaps more than being a little present and aware of them, I am trying to limit their use in my verbiage, as they seem to get me into nothing but trouble.

Should implies some obligation, whether externally driven or internally focused. Either way, the issue of power is involved, with me at the receiving end of it. Whether I am told I should do this or that (usually to support somebody else’s agenda) or I believe I should do something (usually related to childhood control issues to see the world in a certain way), I often find that guilt and follow-the-leader (who somehow always knows better and more) drive me in ways I often do not want to go. It is so easy to do things because other people conveniently do the thinking (i.e., power issue alert!) for me (you?).

Must is the same, though it often comes from a higher moral, patriotic, academic, or organizational place. I would never be blogging for years or engaging in interesting research if I only listened to ways how I must think, believe, do, or say. Is Have to much different?

Now, I am not that much of an activist (ok, I am alas not one at all), and am not advocating any behavior beyond my own change in perspective. However, this may be where activism does start . . .

New Year’s Resolution—I Am Enough

Year after year I make New Year’s Resolutions for change. I have numbered them, listed them on paper, entered them into Outlook pop-ups, carried them in my pockets, put them around on Post-Its, told people about them, kept them close if they were personal, repeated them as a mantra, and other methods that have been forgotten just as the resolutions themselves have.

This year, I am planning something different. Rather than try for change, I am going to do just the opposite—accept what already is.

With my appreciation for Reflective Practice as a disciplinary methodology and my need to blog to help realize the results and the process itself, I am sharing my thinking on this resolution this year.

My resolution is a mantra I have tried out for the past few days and it feels right for me. It seems to fit in a way that I can understand and will try to incorporate into my life. In this regard, I understand I Am Enough as meaning that I will focus on appreciating what I have, already am, have accomplished, think, and feel. For some background, I at times think about what I am not or have not done or thought or felt, more than what I am, have done, thought, or felt. I tend to apologize (at least to myself) for my omissions and lack of, rather than appreciating and accepting what I already am all about.  I tend to think I am not smart enough, not in shape enough, have not written enough, have not worked enough, relaxed enough, socialized enough, taught enough, traveled enough, and on and on.

I am resolving to accept what I have done, not perhaps as being the best or most or highest or grandest or what have you, but in a much simpler way:  they are enough. This recalls a colleague years ago who was told by a professor, after slaving away on a paper that seemed to be going nowhere, that “sometimes good enough is good enough.” This is what I mean by I Am Enough.

Yes, this is a resolution that does involve some change I suppose, and changes in perspective can be as challenging as changing behaviors. However, I think this perspective is one that just feels like it may be the one that will help me move forward with my life by grounding me in my own very real experiences.

I hope my explanation does not appear as an apology, as it is not. I am explaining this to try to put words to what I have already decided. This is my resolution, and it is a good enough one as any.