So we’ve arrived here in the year 2020. What kind of outrageous, unrealistic resolutions did you all come up with? I’m trying something new this year. I’m not making any. Well, that’s not true. I have some in mind but I’ve come to realize (and accept) that a new year does not literally mean a new me. Why do we do that to ourselves? “I’m gonna eat healthier. I’m gonna work out more (or start working out). I’m not gonna waste money.” All those liessss!! Who are we kidding ourselves? Just because the year has changed, doesn’t mean we have. So I made some realistic resolutions for myself. Things that I believe (truly) that I will be able to adapt into my lifestyle and stick to.
- learn to mono-task – remember back when being able to multitask was impressive and better yet, productive? I have always been a multitasker because I don’t like wasting my time. In high school, it would be something like doing homework while chatting on MSN Messenger. Then as an adult, I would clean the house while watching Netflix and have multiple chats going on through WhatsApp. But nowadays, with “multitasking,” we aren’t really putting our full attention to anything and we end up being only partially present. For example, almost every time I go to a restaurant, I see groups of friends at a table, supposedly spending time and catching up, but every single one of them will be on their phones and chatting with someone else who isn’t even there. What’s the point of getting together if you’re not really spending the time to be with them? I’ve done this myself, and I’m ashamed. I haven’t done it at a dinner table with friends per se, but with my kids while they play. And while they are still little (two and three), they can tell when I am listening vs just hearing them. I get it. It’s so easy to pick up your phone and just scroll mindlessly. But it’s also very sad that we cannot even afford to be without distraction. When was the last time you sat alone at a bus stop or at a cafe and was just present? We don’t know how to be bored anymore because the thought is too scary. To me, it seems like mono-tasking has replaced multitasking as a skill now.
- support local – a friend of mine who started his business in Japan posted something on Facebook that said something along the lines of: when you buy from a small business, you are not helping the CEO buy a fifth vacation home, you are helping a little girl get ballet lessons or a little boy get a jersey. You’re helping someone feed their family and meet basic needs. So with that in mind, I am (and have already started) cutting big corporations out of my budget. You won’t find me buying Starbucks every other day. I will look to support more local small businesses.
- be present – further to the first point about mono-tasking, I need to learn to put my phone down. I am aware that this is my biggest social flaw. This is the one habit I need to undo, and it’s not something I know will happen overnight but I will get there one day (I hope!). I use my phone as an excuse to take photos and videos of my kids, but that is just the root of the snowball effect. I’ve been thinking maybe I should start using my digital camera again so I don’t get distracted by all the magical things my phone does to lure me. These days, I have to remind myself daily that childhood is a very limited time. It’s enough to make me sit and enjoy (when there are no tantrums) just being present.
That’s it y’all! No crazy resolutions for me this year. I am not making any plans to “be healthier” and “eat less carbs and sugar.” I know myself well enough that I don’t have that much self-discipline and I would just be setting myself up for disappointment and failure. So back to the basics it is. Re-learn how to give undivided attention to something, be present (ie. stop trying to capture every moment and be in the moment), and put down my phone when necessary (which is most of the time).
Wish me luck!