Publisher - January 2018
"Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful."
— Margaret J. Wheatly -
Like it or not, the New Year is a time to reflect on what went right and what went wrong, and make changes in areas you want to improve upon. New Year’s resolutions get a bad rap, mainly because they’re hard to stick to. If you think about it, resolutions, which are a mission to break an old habit in exchange for a new habit, are set up for failure. The problem lies in unrealistic expectations to change these habits overnight, literally cold turkey. It takes a colossal serving of self-discipline and a whopping amount of will power to instantly change. If we had that kind of determination, we probably wouldn’t have to resolve to change anything.
Even though resolutions are risky, I still want to challenge myself in 2018. But this year I want to do it a differently. Like most people, my to-do list is overwhelming, never ending and stressful. I flat out do not want more to do. What I want is to change some of what I do and a lot of how I do it. I want my daily tasks to include more of who I am and what fuels me. I want to work smarter, not harder. I have heard that a to-do list can become far less daunting if you have a counter not to-do list. We all waste so much valuable time on things that steal the hours in our day, our connections, and ultimately, our joy.
Here’s my Top 5 on my Not-To-Do List that will change my life for the better:
1) Don’t waste time on social media. It has a purpose, but it is not a priority.
2) Don’t work too much. Rein it in. Will I get to the end of my life and wish I had worked more? My answer is no—100 percent no!
3) Don’t race through the fun stuff. Undivided attention needed here. This is what life’s all about!
4) Don’t skip daily activities that bring joy or well-being for the sake of working, sleeping, accomplishing more. A morning beach walk is not a chore.
5) Don’t hurry, rush and scurry. It’s a terrible way of life that wears out your “shelf” life.
I often think back to my days of seeing a life coach and how she was always encouraging me to “design my life.” I have never needed to design my own life more than right now. I think about it daily. It goes back to the one question that both haunts and fuels me: What do you want to do with your one wild and precious life? This is a loaded question because it is both limiting and limitless. It reminds us we only have ONE life. On the flip side, it beckons us to fully embrace that we have a choice of how we move through each day. I had an opportunity to pull up anchor and leave it all behind, recently. I chose not to. But many people take great leaps of faith and immerse themselves in new adventures. I’ve known people who just quit their job and move, seeking new purpose, new pace and new passion. Sometimes I question my decision to stay, because in some ways, it would have been so much easier to go. But I love what I do, I just have to change the way I do it.
So, what’s on my To-Do list for 2018?
1) More connection. There are people on Facebook I want to hang out with in the real world. I’m going to move people from virtual friends to true friends.
2) I’m ready to fix a few flats in my life—most of the categories on my “Wheel of Life” need some TLC: fun &recreation; career; money; health; friends and family; romance; personal growth, spirituality. They all are going to get attention, which will range from a “full facelift”, to a little shot of “Botox.” Every category is looking worn down and peaked.
3) Prioritize and work in blocks. I’ve read many books and blogs and this method of working through the day should provide stability and productivity. It will be a huge blessing to go home on a regular basis without so many things hanging over my head.
4) Make a difference. I am so proud that Pink and Paisley Magazines make a difference in women’s lives, which is the most important thing (and my favorite) to me as founder, owner and publisher. However, I’m ready to up my game on making a difference. I have a project I want to launch this year to benefit the Corridor of Shame, a path of neglected rural school districts right across I-95.
5) Finish both books I’m writing. It’s time. It no longer serves me to let these two very important projects twist in the wind. It will take extraordinary measures to complete these two extraordinary projects but it will be a game changer.
There you have my 2018 road map. I hope you will contemplate your road map and write it down, too—what you want to do and what you don’t want to do anymore. My next step is to prioritize and break down each one into baby steps. If I haven’t gotten anywhere by February 1, or even June 1, I will not just give up. I encourage you not to give up either. It’s our life! Why would we ever give up on that?
Elizabeth Skenes Millen