New year, new chances to live better

It’s 2017, and we’re all looking for light. Here are the ways I’m planning to work on myself, and in so doing, perhaps also put more positivity out into the world.

  • Spotlight Change: Keep up my commitment to posting one sign of hope a day here.
  • Physical Health: Stop walking like a duck and start working on my posture and gait.
  • Intellect and Mental Health: On January 1, 2016, I had visions of limiting my time lost to random internet browsing. That didn’t go well. But then, some time in the those foggy first days after the election, I deleted the Facebook and Twitter apps from my phone. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I still look at both occasionally on my desktop, but I can’t reflexively scan when I’m in line, at lunch, or stalled at work. Between that, and achieving my intention to post once a day here, my brain feels clearer, and a lot less anxious. In 2017, I want to go further, in a couple ways:
    • Limit news consumption: 30-60 minutes in the morning, rather than throughout the day. Has overdosing on Politico ever done anyone any good?
    • Saturday is for creating: A little promise my husband and I have made to each other. No internet browsing. No social media. No work at home, unless it’s really, really critical. And no television until 5pm. This is our time to write (things like this blog!), to read, to build ideas, to cook, and to detox from six days of information overload.
  • Philanthropy: We don’t have a lot, but I’m going to use a term that feels bigger than charity, since I believe this is such an important part of life to cultivate. Around May of 2016, I decided to switch up my scattered and, if I’m being truthful, somewhat stingy, history of gift giving. In the past, I would take months off and then reactively give to the crisis of the moment. Now, we have structure: three percent of our post-tax household income, divvied up into 10 small-ish monthly requirements, and two larger gifts in May and December. I’m really happy to say that we’ve stuck to that for the past six months. In 2017, I want to do two things: stick with that new habit, and also use this blog to help educate myself and refine our priorities.

I’m writing this all down in the hopes that it will help me to stay honest and stick to it all. If we want to strengthen all the things we love and cherish about America, then organization, determination, and commitment will matter a lot.

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