New Year’s Resolutions Already?

I don’t know where the rest of the 2018 went. All I know is that it’s December, the last month of the year.

Instead of feeling rushed through the last 31 days of 2018, I decided that I will purposefully slow down, reflect, and get a head start on my New Year’s Resolutions.

If you’re like me, your New Year’s Resolutions have fizzled out more times than you care to count, and you’ve become jaded about the whole enterprise. But please don’t let the phrase “New Year’s Resolution” turn you off. I’m using it as a short-hand for what I still believe in: Intentionality, Clarity, and New beginnings. And they can happen at any time you decide. Any day can be your January 1st regardless of what the calendar says. (And the rebel in you is nodding in agreement.)

Here are three of my 2019 resolutions:

1. Spend Time on Things that Fill My Cup

One of the things I want to be more intentional about is spending my time on endeavors that are creative, nourishing, and uplifting. Here’s what I’ve discovered to be ironic but true over the years – the more I feel pressed for time (or stressed or exhausted), the more crucial it is for me to take that time just for me. This is especially true if you’re a leader of any type. It’s tempting to neglect the necessity to regularly recharge our battery when others (teams, family, etc.) need us, but that’s where trust comes in – We have to trust that our teams and family are capable and resilient, and that spending time to recharge will enable us to lead and serve others better in the long run.

2. Clarity will Emerge When I Slow Down and Simplify

I think we all have a sense that this is true. The trick is to actually slow down and simplify. Also, life changes. The clarity we had a couple of years ago may have outlived its usefulness as circumstances and priorities shifted. We need not waste time asking “What happened? I thought I figured it out.” Because the answer is: “Life happened. I figured it out then, and that was great. And I will figure it out again what works best and what is most meaningful to me now.

John c. Maxwell, author and leadership expert, puts it this way: ” We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.”

The work one does to gain clarity is not a chore or a burden. It is a gift. Let’s have fun unwrapping our presents!

3. Connect with Change Agents and Take Action

Another thing I want to do is to connect with other people who are also agents of change. Eric, one of my housemates in college, insisted that we ought to “Think globally; Act locally.” If you have been thinking about using your mad data skills for good, find a local group on Meetup, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Here are some “Data for Good” organizations in case you’re thinking about volunteering:

The Democracy Lab – An online hub that leverages marketplace dynamics for civic innovation

DataKind – Connects data scientists with organization that drive social change – Their homepage lets you either submit a project or volunteer with them

Dataforgood – A Canadian organization with local chapters in metropolitan areas

There you have it! My intentions for 2019! Ready for yours?

Don’t overthink it. Write down the first things that come to mind.

What is the ONE thing you want to do in the coming new year? Please share in the comment below. I’d LOVE to hear from you!

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