My name is Kim Simpson and I am a workaholic. There it is in black and white, something that I have long hinted at, but now openly apply a label. My parents instilled in me a very strong work ethic and I learned at a very young age that hard work, smarts and a little luck pay off. I derive much happiness, joy, reward, confidence, and positive self esteem, from my accomplishments and my passions (writing and photography among others). That said, there is a downside to working hard without working smart: Eventually you burn out, ruin your health with stress-filled days, and leave little time for playful creativity, family, friends, and fun. I have learned the hard way that if you want to promote good health and happiness you have to make time for 'YOU' and nurture body, mind and soul every day, not just during annual vacations. I am listening to my instincts, which have long told me to slow down, do one thing at a time, and use the 'small step' approach in my daily activities.
I intend to 'Slow Down And Stop To Smell All The Lovely Flowers', as part of my I Resolve To . . . Challenge: 365 Resolutions For Health & Happiness. Why not join me? The objective is very simple: Do at least one thing each and every day to promote health and happiness for 'YOU'. Banish the 'Someday, Someday, Someday Syndrome'. Instead, make every day New Year's Day. Make every day count with 'daily resolves'. The list of possibilities is infinite and can be tailored to your own dreams, resolutions and daily goals. If you need some help - a little nudge, a bit of inspiration, tips, advice, and news about the best ways to make resolutions a reality - please use IResolveTo.Com as one of your resources. Resolve365 in 2009.
I can remember, as a young television reporter in the early 1980's, getting sound advice from my Bureau Chief in Illinois: "Stop and Smell The Roses," he said. I was brimming with unbridled enthusiasm. While that brief message may sound trite, he cared enough about me to urge me to slow down and enjoy my life as much as my career in an effort to avoid burnout and frustration. Maybe he saw a little of himself in me and wanted me to avoid learning lessons the hard way. I listened, but his advice went in one ear and out the other. I have continuously burned the candle at both ends. Thankfully, I am very blessed and I take nothing for granted, particularly my health. In 2008, major surgery, coupled with my 50th birthday, served as the wake up call that I needed alter my lifestyle. I now fully understand the downside of multi-tasking my way to success 24-7. It batters your body, mind, spirit, friends, and family. While you may rack up achievements, you also lose the joy of truly experiencing daily activities.
I have given a great deal of thought to these issues and they are among the driving forces behind my I Resolve To . . . Challenge. My goal is not to change my life dramatically overnight, but rather to take small daily steps toward greater health and happiness - simple things like setting work boundaries, drinking more water, eating more fruit and vegetables, taking long walks, and spending more time writing, reading, relaxing, and having fun. I don't view the world through rose colored glasses, thinking or believing that I should be happy every moment of the day. That is not possible and I am not striving for perfection. Each day has its highs, lows, laughter and tears. I accept the full range of daily emotion and embrace it. Bottom line: I am not chasing happiness; I firmly believe that happiness is a by-product of 'doing what you love' each day, hence my devotion to 'Daily Resolves' and making annual New Year Resolutions a reality.
In essence, I am striving for big patches of calm, peaceful moments by taking things slowly, being mindful of what I am doing while I am doing it, and 'doing what I love' via small daily steps. Here are five simple lessons that I finally am learning to embrace:
- Working hard enables me to rack up wonderful achievements, but the achievements don't mean much if I race through stress-filled days, ruin my health, and make family and friends miserable. There is an alternative: Slow down and do just one thing at a time, mindfully. Take those long walks I love so much in an effort to clear my head, exercise, and enjoy nature. Make time for healthy meals. Put family and friends first.
- Doing what I love and loving what I do is more apt to promote happiness than stressing and stewing over how unhappy I am. A little introspection coupled with common sense goes a long way. Promote joy by identifying passions, strengths and gifts and making time for them each and every day - happiness is a by-product. Reduce frustration and stress by singling out obstacles and overcoming them, or finding 'a way around'. Identifying the problem isn't enough -a realistic solution is also part of a winning formula.
- Being grateful for all that I have and all that I am, rather than focusing on what I don't have and what 'I am not', promotes greater contentment, joy, reward, and peace of mind.
- Realizing that some of the best gifts in life are free: Long walks, sunsets, a good book from the public library, lending a helping hand to someone in need, raking fallen leaves in Autumn, and giving your kid a bug hug.
- Reminding myself that my time is valuable and I should spend it well because there is no 'do over life', you only get one. Each moment, each action counts. I can incessantly dwell on the negative, or I can change the channel and devote my time and attention to the activities and people that matter the most to me.
Remember: I Resolve To . . . Achieve My New Year Resolutions, One Resolution, One Day At A Time For One Year. It's your choice. Do it today. Turn your resolution into reality in five simple, common sense steps: Dare To Dream, Decide, Define, Develop A Plan, and Do It Daily. Make your resolution a permanent Lifetime Resolution, something that's with you for good! Above all, Be A Resolutionista, someone who makes resolutions, keeps resolutions, and enjoys the journey! Let's Go For It!
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Kim M. Simpson - September 10, 2009
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