New Year, New You? Maybe Just New Year, New Habits

It Doesn’t Have to Be a Whole New You

“None of us really changes over time. We only become more fully what we are.”

-Le Vampire Lestat

Whaaaaaaat 2019? How’d that happen. I admit, I took a good part of December off to tour the Middle East, but even with those missing days, it seems far too soon to be 2019. I’m still behind about 5 years mentally I think.

At this, the time of resolutions, I feel I should have something to offer. Something I’m going to do, something I’m going to work on, something to share. I’m getting older, and I’m thinking more about what my Prince Lestat said. My senior year quote, “None of us really changes over time. We only become more fully what we are.” Have I changed in all these new years? Am I fundamentally different than that year I decided his sentence would be one of my guiding principles?

That one I need more time to mull on. Until then, I’ll give you what I’m doing now.

Make the Plan. Work the Plan. But Add Some Extra On Top.

I am a person of To-Do lists. I sit down, write a list of all the things I need to do, and don’t quit until all of them are done. Most days this means working at a frenetic pace, but as long as I’m enjoying what I’m working on, it’s cool.

But lately, that hasn’t been the case. Call it an existential crisis, call it burnout, call it mismanagement, whatever the reason I’ve been searching desperately to pinpoint, I don’t like my job. Every single day, I have too many things to do, and there are only a few of them I particularly care about doing. The rest are some conflagration being at the right place at the right time. and here I am.

But I like my boyfriend and I like Chattanooga. And due to the financial constraints of my industry being well-paying, I’m unlikely to leave my job any time soon.

It’s often said the job of being a human being is that you get to choose how you feel about things. I haven’t been very pleased with my attitude. On the one hand, it’s important to experience your feelings which are currently “I AM UNHAPPY.” On the other hand, it’s important to note that overall “I have a pretty great life and really have nothing to be unhappy about.” So get over it.¬†And I plan to.

A photo of Viktor Frankl, neurologist, with a quote that reads, "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances."


To Get Over Myself, I Bought!……A Planner?

Can the secrets to unhappiness and existential dread really be solved by a planner? Maybe not, but it couldn’t hurt. Let me go ahead and say, I’m not even getting a $5 or 20% coupon kickback for this, I’ve just really liked it. Enter the Panda Planner.
A screen shot of one page of the Panda Planner.

When I started looking for planners, I was searching for something to catalog my day. Something where I could log the many, many tasks and projects I complete hour by hour. I wanted it to give me a picture of my time so I could understand where I was most productive and where I was losing time.

Panda Planner was on my short list. What ultimately made me choose it is that top section you see. Before you begin listing all the things you need to get done for the day, you have to list things you’re grateful for, things you’re excited about, and an affirmation about yourself. You’re also encouraged to write a daily habit and focus item.

I’ve been using it for over a month, and I underestimated how much these tiny things would help give me something I lacked. Now before I make my mountainous to-do list, I have to recall happy things. Then I can get started on the grind.

New Year, New Habit -Plan Your Positivity

I’m not saying you should go out and buy a Panda Planner for your New Year’s resolution. But you should take on its habit. Before you begin your day, force yourself to think about the good things. Force yourself to remember all the things that are going well. Force yourself to think about what makes you happy. Take advantage of your greatest freedom -the fact that you get to decide your attitude.

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