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Several years ago, I read The Happiness Project. The premise is that while Gretchen Rubin is happy *enough*, what if she was getting in her own way to be happier? Even she said that it felt indulgent to hunt for more happy, when you already had a pocketful of it. I followed along, reading one chapter each month and making up some goals of my own based on what Gretchen was doing. I definitely looked at where I self-sabotage, but I don’t think I did much to stop those behaviours.

I think about how much she planned and researched and set very particular goals in very particular orders. She had some mis-adventures, which are as important to the process as 100% success, because no one likes a know-it-all.

I was talking to bossman at $Dayjob before Christmas, and I said that I thought that we sometimes fell into the trap of finding solutions that didn’t have an associated problem. We’re going to change things/tools/processes or whatever, but there’s not really a pain point we’re trying to address with those changes. I don’t like that kind of work. Innovation is great and all, but it’s only innovation if you’re getting BETTER, not just DIFFERENT. I think that this is an easy trap to fall into. Different isn’t always better, sometimes it’s just different.

When Bossman started in our department, he asked us all what things we thought should change. Most people thought about what they *didn’t* want anymore; their day would be better if X and Y didn’t happen. I listened to that, and noted that they didn’t say what they wanted instead. It feels like the opposite of Don’t Want is Do Want, but I don’t think it’s that easy. When you remove something, there’s a vacuum, and who knows what’s going to rush in to fill it. It feels like expressing those kinds of wants as things you DO want lends itself better to actionable tasks that mean change sticks. At least in theory.

So as one does in January, I’m scheming. How will this year be my best year? Or better than last year, anyway. Like Gretchen Rubin, I don’t consider 2018 to have been a heinous year that I’m glad to be done with. I mean, there were certainly challenges. There were parts that I would have preferred to have avoided.  Surely, as I look at a calendar full of empty pages, there are things I want to improve this year. A woman’s reach should exceed her grasp or what’s a heaven for (apologies to Robert Browning), right? So, what am I reaching for?

I started with a piece pf paper, intending to do an octopus chart to brainstorm myself into a plan. I want to feel less tired. But I know that saying what I don’t want isn’t as helpful as it seems. But it’s a start, so to the Octopus Chart we go!  How does one feel less tired? Better sleep, and more of it. How can one get better sleep? How can one get more sleep? Aye, there’s the rub.

I’ve got some plans (beyond just the quest for less-tired) that feel manageable. The goal is to be healthier (mental health and physical). The paths to that are many-fold, and fraught with dragons. Or in the very least, obstacles, some of my own making, even. Those are my favourite. *sigh*

But, if it was easy, everybody’d be doing it, right?

So, friends, if you’re a maker of resolutions or a bullet journaller or a keep-on-keeping-on’er, happy new year. May the year bring gifts to all of us.

Extra credit:

In my planning effort, I used this tool: Word of the year, which helped me realize a few things that I need to do, regardless of my end game.

This one also looks interesting: YearCompass

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