Resolution, January 2014
From the Publisher - January 2014
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you
have to start to be great.” -Zig Ziglar
Well, I am a mere 15 pounds away from reaching a goal that seemed impossible 18-months ago. What was the goal then? It was to get my act together, with the hopes that weight loss would pursue. I know that’s not a great goal, especially since it is so vague. The upside, though, the plan didn’t demand unrealistic expectations. For the first time, I didn’t begin by claiming something like: “I’m going to lose 42 pounds by next Friday. It simply started with going to bed earlier and getting mindful about what and how much I was eating. Then, I added a fairly consistent morning ritual of walking the beach. I found I really enjoyed it, thus, I kept doing it; I actually looked forward to it. Plus, since I was going to sleep earlier, waking up in the mornings was no problem. My goal was to instill some semblance of discipline into my daily haphazard routine—in other words, to become less like a pinball, and more like a metronome. As a result, I lost 53 pounds…and I do go to bed earlier, work out regularly, take beach walks consistently, eat healthy most of the time, and have an abundance of energy to show for it. I kissed discipline and I liked it! I have no doubt I will shed the last 15. That’s why my New Year’s resolutions have nothing to do with weight loss.
In retrospect, my 2013 was all about me. It was a year of change, growth and decision-making, often accompanied by struggle, sometimes by shear determination. However, 2014 will be different. I have no plans to change back to my old ways and habits; taking care of myself is now ingrained into who I am. But, this year, I want to turn my attention outward.
I have repeatedly read how people get so much out of helping others. It is a recurring topic that keeps popping up and tapping me on the shoulder. I had a conversation with my 82-year-old mother about how volunteering for a good cause may lift her spirits. I see where she has become increasingly more inner-focused over the past five years since my father died. I think it would be good to get out and help those less fortunate. Not only does it have a way of putting things into perspective, it also diminishes your own problems, while magnifying the blessings in your life. I’ve never talked to anyone who didn’t claim they were the ones who were actually helped when serving others.
One morning, I forgot my water to bring water to spin class. It’s a pretty rough class and hard to get through without proper hydration; I usually drink 33-ounces during the course of the class. About two-thirds through the class, Scott Jacard, who was on the cycle beside me, got off his bike and walked out of the studio. Moments later, he came back with a cup of water for me; that was the only reason he stopped. His random act of kindness inspired me. He was willing to do something for me that I wasn’t willing to do for myself. This one gesture reminded me of the tapping that has been nagging me to help others. First and foremost, of my three resolutions, the most important one is to think of others more often and give of myself.
My second resolution is to get organized. I’ve come to a point in my life when I realize that I’m too smart to play dumb. Keeping important documents in order and safe is mandatory. Having an estate plan is a necessity. Saving and investing is not an option. Knowing the beneficiaries on life insurance policies is a must; knowing where they are, or that they actually exist, is even more important. Not to mention it would just be nice to actually know where my car keys are.
I met with Ginny Underwood, a professional organizer, to talk about an article for the magazine (see pg. 14). I walked away from our meeting inspired. That night, when I got home from work, I cleaned out the pantry. Unfortunately, I threw away about $30 of outdated canned and dry goods. The good news is now I know what I need and will quit buying doubles at the grocery store; that alone will save time, money and space.
In reading through old journal notes from my life-coaching sessions, I realized cleaning out my daughter’s closet has been an overwhelming concern of mine since 2007—that’s seven years. My closet is clean. Hers is completely dysfunctional. I am happy to say I have hired Ginny to help Jacie and me conquer the closet. I’m so excited! Jacie is so not.
My final resolution is to write. I have words in me begging for paper. This year, I promise to give them a home. This is another act of discipline—that and conquering fear. I have no doubt that a little work each day will equal big results. Again, I purposely lead my thoughts away from creating a book and more to creating a page. Maybe that’s why I love magazine publishing…it’s just one page, one article, one ad, and one story at a time. This just dawned on me: I’ve never thought of our monthly process as an 80-100 page project; I have always just approached it as pieces and parts coming together to make something really good.
And there it is…possibly the secret to life. Indeed a journey of 1,000 miles truly does start with one step. Are you ready? Put your shoes on and let’s go!
Elizabeth Skenes Millen