Oh January.


So, apparently the first month of 2011 is already over. I am currently writing this on the 31th, so I am technically still on time (although it’ll be tomorrow by the time you get to read this).

I am not quite sure yet what to make of 2011.

As you might recall, I didn’t really make any New Year’s resolutions, other than wanting to focus on myself a bit more this year. Right now, I am really trying hard to do that. I don’t really know if it is working, because there are still a lot of things that I want to do, but that I am not doing. If I am brutally honest, I could be a lot more selfish and would probably still pass as a very giving person.

I guess it’s tough to teach an old dog new tricks.

Me being the old dog. Naturally.

I still have a hard time saying no. I feel guilty for not doing things, even if nobody has specifically asked me to do them. I happily stay late at work one night, and then feel horrible about wanting to leave a few minutes early the next day. What the heck is wrong with me? I have a good work ethic. I get shit done. Why is is that I always feel like I have to please others to a fault? I really, really need to work on this.

It’s not all disappointing though. I’ve probably watched more movies, excuse me, chick flicks in January than I have in 2010 all months combined (no kidding- although I admit that it was probably due to the excellent movie selection on my transatlantic flight!). I allow myself to fall asleep on the couch at 9 p.m. and don’t care if the apartment is messy. Until I do care, but that’s a different story for another time.
I don’t beat myself up about the fact that I still have to go back to the gym for the first time this year. (I know!) I don’t stress myself over trying to get more done in any 24 hour-period than humanly possible.

I believe that I can teach myself to be a little less of a perfectionist.

I still want to be me. I just want to believe that there can be a more balanced version of me.

So, I made a little list of goals for February:

  • practice to say “no” if someone asks me a small favor, especially if people are perfectly capable of doing it themselves.
  • stop volunteering my time and resources, unless  I know that I get something in return.
  • get lost in and finish a book (yes, one book, that’s all I ask of myself. You got to start somewhere.)
  • write and send out two handwritten letters (not because I feel obligated, but because I want to).
  • manage my time better. I actually want to take the time that I “waste” on other, to me personally less important things to go back to doing things that I actually love and enjoy, but which have fallen by the wayside lately.

What are your goals for this next month?

  1. I feel you on the guilt thing. I’m a victim of that as well and I’ve been trying to work on it. I think you’ve set some great goals for February and you can definitely achieve them if you set your mind to it! :)

  2. I used to feel that way too–like I had to say “yes” to everything and could never say no. It often resulted in me being overly stressed out and then sometimes flaking. Until one day I realized…people respect you a lot more when you have the guts to say no! In the moment, it doesn’t feel like they will. But I’ve learned to be honest–if I can’t do something, I am honest up front, “Sorry, I won’t be able to.” And even though they seem miffed at first (which is the hardest part to get used to) I learned that they usually get over it and appreciate that you didn’t say yes and then cancel, or say yes and then do a crappy job because you were tired and/or your heart just wasn’t in. Ok sorry, I’m babbling, I just totally get where you’re coming from because I used to be the exact same way. It’s ok to cut yourself some slack!! Hope you have a lovely February! <3

  3. I would like to finish cleaning my office. Yes. Just finish that one room!

  4. I used to have a hard time saying no – now I have a hard time saying yes. I need to work on that … This month I want to spend less time on facebook and more time running :D

  5. The saying no to things you don’t want to or really can’t do is a good one — it’s a practice I’ve been working on the past year. I have a bad habit of doing ANYTHING asked of me because I care about people and want them to be happy…but all it does is make me tired and grumpy. Now that I’m saying NO to things I can’t or don’t want to do, I am dedicated better and more positive energy to stuff I DO want to do to help people out.

    My goals for this month are writing more poems, work on sending poetry out to literary magazines, and start and finish my new choreography projects. Ideally, I’d finish all three this month but I’d settle for one done and two half done.

  6. Amen, love yourself!!

  7. Nice List! You have motivated me to make some goals for February!

  8. I’m going through the same thing…kind of. I need to stop feeling so bad when I tell people no. It takes time and practice I guess. :) I’m looking forward to February and I hope your month is lovely!

  9. Sounds like a great February is headed your way :)
    I’m aiming to keep myself as productive and on target as in January, lots to do!

  10. I’m with you on the hand-written letters. I really want to do the same and start connecting with people on a totally different level. Everything is so virtual nowadays!

  11. I used to be horrible at saying no but then I realized that I had to learn for my own well being. Its gets easier, I promise. Focus on yourself and what you need. The rest will take care of itself.

  12. I really like your goals…
    One of my goals is to manage my time better as well but more in the sense of… spending a reasonable amount of time on uni stuff every day instead of wasting it online and then having to face a buttload of uni work right before exams all at once. It’s pretty basic stuff but I have yet to accomplish it so it’s my goal for this month. :)

  13. I really like this goal of yours “practice to say “no” if someone asks me a small favor, especially if people are perfectly capable of doing it themselves.” It is so smart and something that we all need to try to do more. I am trying in 2011 to say no more just for my own good, to save money, calories and drunk nights over the toilet. :) Happy second month of 2011!

  14. I think I have managed pretty good myself to get over the “always say yes” thing, I used to do that too. What’s more of a “problem” for me is that I often offer to help by myself without being asked if someone has a problem…and then I realize it’s screwing up my schedule.

    Anyways, what I wanted to tell is something my mom did once. See, my dad is like you, he always says yes and works his butt off because he feels sorry for someone. He has his own law firm and would take on new cases even though he already worked 18 hour days, so he was tired and sick and my mom barely saw him. So she gave him a big picture frame with a single sheet of paper inside that had “NEIN!” printed all over in different sizes and fonts. It is sitting on his bookshelf opposite his desk in his office now so he sees it when he is on the phone and remembers to say no more often.
    I have been thinking about getting one for my hubby too because he is starting to take on 1000 projects in his new job and is tired and frustrated all the time.
    Use a bright yellow Post-It and put it somewhere you can always see it, maybe it helps

  15. This month I would love to keep up with the running schedule I’ve been on. I’d also like to keep up with my school work and go on a date with my husband. We’ve done lots of dinners with friends lately, but no time for just us, and I miss it. :)

  16. I am with Kat: Time management is huge on my list. I kind of started today by getting up at 6AM to submit my discussions for my classes. YAY!

  17. I love the idea of doing monthly goals instead of yearly resolutions. Seems to make things easier to achieve and allows you to adjust each month based on changes throughout the year.

    This month, I have one goal: get out of the house more than I did before. So far, so good … I feel like I’m getting pieces of my life back!

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