Instead of a New Year's resolution, I choose three words to implement more into my life. This means a menu of opportunities. It frees the mind to think bigger than concrete tasks. Instead of the “do this not that” resolution approach.
My three words (inspired by Chris Brogan) for 2012 were: Mindfulness, Spontaneity, Simplicity.
I want to remain true to my words and hold myself accountable. So here's how I applied them:
Cluttered thoughts and things can often get in the way of vision. Here's how I cleared the clutter, and applied mindfulness in 2012:
Less is More
Minimalism is something I incorporate into many aspects of my life. Whether it's through digital minimalism, creative minimalism, or clothing minimalism. Get your mind out of the gutter…not that kind.
This year I tried a personal experiment in living with less. The goal is to own only 33 items of clothing. Sounds crazy, I know. And certainly a challenge for a former shopaholic. Don't get me wrong – I believe in always looking fabulous. But I also believe in:
Softening the consumption footprint.
Giving to others less fortunate.
Purging to create positive energy for the future.
I have a walk-in closet – which naturally (for many women) means the ability to…have more clothes! Not me, anymore. I minimized to about 100 items in my closet (if that sounds like a lot, count the number of items in your closet. You'll be surprised).
I donated the majority of my clothes. And then I donated again when Hurricane Sandy hit. Now I'm only left with clothes I only adore. They're quality, staple pieces – that truly make me happy when I wear them. The bonus is that life and travel have become much more efficient.
This project is not just about price tags. It's a way to be uncomfortable (in a “first-world problem” way), question my belief system, and focus on quality.Â It's about putting my core beliefs into practice. It's one of the reasons why I don't own a microwave or have TV/cable (when Netflix and Hulu work just fine).
This project has allowed me to choose different and better ways of doing things – both personally and professionally.
The good: I moved to a more simple life by the sea. The salt air and open water is a better energy to make things happen (compared to life in Washington, DC). It's given me the opportunity to reflect. Which is necessary to build (more on this in my next post).
The bad (which in retrospect isn't bad – just a learning experience): Some projects I got involved with were far too complex and convoluted for their own good. But I learned. And the choices I make in 2013 will be based on what I learned from 2012.
When I chose this word, I knew I'd be in for some exciting trips. I planned slightly ahead for business reasons. And traveled to Las Vegas for CES and Austin for SXSW. I also popped into NYC to fill up on inspiration.
I got a puppy. Tried the blowfish. Traveled alone to a new country.
Spontaneity led to new opportunities. Fun experiences. New friends. And an overall fulfilling, exciting year.
How do you set goals or make resolutions? What are your three words for 2013? Please comment below.