What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?
1. Passive aggressive behavior. Seriously, let's call shit out rather than beat around the bush. Things are much simpler that way.
2. Bug bites. Something about me is like sweet candy to all flesh eating insects. Given that I'm likely spending the next five months in tropical (read: buggy) South East Asia, it might be hard to eliminate this without destroying the ecosystem of the region, but I do intend to invest heavily in DEET.
3. Excessive procrastination. I don't know why I'm so tempted to put off doing things that I love. Like writing. I've got dozens of story ideas swimming around in my head and while I note them down, I rarely make the necessary time to actually write. I don't know why I'm so inclined to do this but I am going to try schedule time in to do the things that matter to me as I've realized that I work best with a bit of structure.
4. Doing work that I don't love. Yes, there are bills to be paid (or guesthouse rooms to be rented in our case) but I've been lucky this year. I've found that it is possible to achieve a really lovely balance between doing the things I'm passionate about and getting paid for it. We spend so much of our lives working - I want to do work that motivates me with people who are excited and talented. Whether I'm working in a bakery or continuing with the web consulting work I've been doing, I vow to love it or leave it.
5. Frenemies and people who make me feel sad, inadequate or overly competitive. This year I'm going to invest more time taking care of the relationships that are encouraging, positive and mutual and a bit less time worrying about the other people. I wish them well, but I am also officially letting them go.
6. My addiction to technology and obsession with always being connected. As I wrote about here, I love technology and as someone who is location independent I rely on it to keep in touch with friends, family and clients. But I want to do a better job of managing the time I devote to it so that I feel more in control and less like I'm obsessed.
7. Physical lethargy. Although I've done and seen more this year then in any other year of my life, I've felt physically quite tired and rather unmotivated to move my body. I live in my head and I have trouble pulling myself out to go for a run, do yoga, or swim. I've been healthy and have had no more than one cold all year, but I feel tired and my muscles are tense from not being used enough. I want to use this body more.
8. People pleasing. It's not that I don't want to make people happy in 2011, but I want to stop worrying about making people happy.
9. The intense desire to control 'what's next'. I've gotten better in this regard during 2010 in part because when traveling you quickly learn that there are a number of things you can do absolutely nothing about. The bus might be late, the tuk tuk driver might rip you off, the dinner your received may not be the one your ordered, the mosquitos swarm, the temperature rises and falls, lightening may or may not strike the small house you're living in ... In my childhood home everything - every single detail of every moment - was planned and I've carried some of that tendency into my adult life. I want to continue to work on letting go a bit more and accept that the world will not end when things don't go as planned.
10. Stress and worrying. From September until about two weeks ago, we were intensely busy with freelance projects and although we balanced everything and came out in a really good place, I found myself feeling intense panic on occasion. It usually came on most abruptly when I would go to bed - instead of sleeping, my heart would pump and I would consider every possible outcome until I felt like I couldn't breath. This is a new development for me - I've always been someone who thrived under stress, particularly work-related stress. But I'm aware of my family history of stress disorders and am determined to keep a better handle on these symptoms if and when they arise, and to deal with them accordingly.
11. Soda. I shall not drink Pepsi Next, Fanta or Sprite. It's bad for me. I must stop.
Image by me, Kamakura, Japan