February Has Been A Challenge

what I do instead

Written By Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.  |  Musings  |  8 Comments

list of resolutions

It’s THAT time of the year — again [sigh]

My inbox and social media feeds are filled with mail/posts selling me on the advantages of:

  • planners
  • courses about planning
  • products on how to use AI to make my year “better” “great” “etc.”
  • health-related info on starting the year off the “right” way
  • making resolutions [personal and business]
  • and more…

Except for the AI which is sort of new this year — the posting and the emails are the same every December and January.

But last year some of it started back earlier in the Fall because everyone knows:

“I have to get your attention about January 2024 in the middle of the summer or early fall or else you won't buy my product.”

It’s fine if you do the above - and even better if making resolutions works for you…

I no longer make them.

I used to.

I’d read a lot of that “how to succeed” stuff, that “guru” stuff, that “my friends say this works” stuff, and would make a list of what I would accomplish in the upcoming year….

Then at some point during the year, I’d look at my resolution list and laugh [or cry] as so little of it ever got done! Or done with any degree of consistency.

So I stopped making New Year resolutions. It seemed to not be good for my mental health OR my productivity. My brain doesn't like lists!!

I've discovered that I am not alone. Many, if not most, people did not follow theirs either.

Especially these:

"I am going to exercise every day” resolution or “I am going to lose X pounds this year” or “I am going to lose 5 pounds a month.”

And work-related resolutions?

The “I will write a post a day,” or “I will write a book before Summer,” or I will do X by Y time frame.

Ditto the very popular “I will be making $XXX a month by the end of March or April” type of resolution.

These resolutions generally do not work.

Why? We tend to set impossible resolutions or standards for ourselves. They are often more wishful thinking than actual planned-out behaviors. Not sticking to these resolutions may make us feel like failures so early in the new year, and yes, the ad people play into this guilt.

Watch ads early in the year and note those aimed at making us feel guilt and shame over NOT keeping resolutions. They may not be direct, but they are aimed at guilt making!!

my insteads 

With two major professional degrees and several accolades, I know I am not a failure.

I actually CAN and DO accomplish things - but I have ceased the resolution-type thinking and adopted a more casual approach to my life. It took some hard work on my part to re-think the business/life model that keeps telling us we “need” to make a yearly, monthly, daily plan… or else!

I choose "or else"

Opting for the “or else” works for me! 

Every choice can be the “correct way!"

I let my mind wander!

I now enjoy late December/early January as we get an added minutes of daylight every afternoon. 

I use this light/dark scenario to reflect, have fun, and think about my work - but not make any of this into resolutions,
to-do lists, or anything tightly scheduled!

I do a non-journal kind of journaling

I call it my mental meandering but it’s more like a brain dump. This is one activity I do most every day but without the “I must do it” kind of thinking, so I often don't do this. And that’s okay!

Apple has made this easier for me as they released a journal app and I have started using that app - but still not every day - I figure a few days a week [maybe] works for me.

Back on the very first day of February I was in a great mood I was energized I felt like it was a restart of some thing and then fact I wrote a blog post about: Restarting .....

And I did restart. I was working on my websites, I was writing articles, I was beginning to organize for a podcast and webinar - and to rework some courses that were halfway done and polish up some books that were nearly ready to be published.

And wow it felt so good.

And then the weather gods decided to do their thing. We had just had an historically warm January and December. There had been talk of snow - but that's been constant since I've lived here and it rarely happens - but guess what?

This year it happened.

By my New England standards, it was not a lot of snow. But by Pacific Northwest standards it was.

My dog was happy with it and for several days so was I. It wasn't cold out the snow was pretty - the dog and I took lots of walks in the snow.

Then along came a cold spell and a nasty East wind. Where I am east winds are brutal.

That water that you see through my lilac branches is the Columbia river. That empty space you see is where a house used to be.The east wind was really blasting my plants and my house.

Then because winter doesn't usually last very long here the sun came out and rapidly melted all the ice.

Unfortunately because of the warm December and January many trees have leaves and buds on them so they went crash boom into the electric transformers and overhead wires. I had no electricity for two days - some people had no electricity for over a week. And we also had no Internet service because that was also taken out with all of the damage from the falling tree branches and powerlines and everything else that went crash boom. It really was a serious state emergency.

And then, I got my 2nd dose of the covid-19 vaccine. 

In spite of my having no reaction to the first shot except for a little whatever a few days later the second shot I was fine for about 18 hours and then I felt awful. I stayed in bed for the better part of a day and a half. I had a headache and felt nauseous lightheaded. I'm glad the electricity was on but other than that I did nothing. In retrospect having a few days of not feeling so great far outweighs getting the virus itself. But it was another few days of February that were a challenge.

And TADA - it's finally nearing the end of February.

February is a short month and for that I am eternally grateful this year. I'm gearing up for the tail end of February going into March - with the energy and work schedule that I had wayback at the end of January.

Do you make resolutions? Do they work for you? Or if not - what do you do - if anything? Please comment below and thank you for reading.  

    • Thank you. Yeah, February is usually worse than April for me in spite of loving Eliot. I’m watching Crazy Rich Asians on Hulu even though I’ve read the book – laughing my head off which seems a good thing to be doing today.

  • Awe Lynn, sounds like a perfect storm 🙁 Sorry I couldn’t help myself. Seriously though, sorry about all the issues you’ve had in Feb, but hopefully things will turn around and March will be much better. I know Paul would say, keep writing those posts and save them for the next UBC 🙂 Look forward to seeing what else you share the rest of the month. Best of luck.

    • Thank you for that. I never thought about the perfect storm but that’s exactly what it was here. At least reading this and thinking back I can laugh but it was certainly no fun going through all of it.

  • February here in Central PA felt like the longest month of my life. But I managed to write a blog for almost all of those days. Lol

    • Thank you for the comment and congratulations on writing and posting every day. I haven’t done a challenge in years and I thought this one was gonna be the one 🙂

  • Oh my, Lynn, it’s been an eventful month! Glad you’re getting back on track.

    I can relate to the COVID-19 vaccine #2. I had my second dose on Feb 8th and felt like crap the next day and part of the following. And as you noted, it was nothing compared to getting Covid, so I’ll take that and not complain. I’m grateful to have had a full vaccination and glad you’re fully vaccinated, too.

    I hope March is better for you and before you know it, the challenges of February will be a distant memory.

    • Thank you for your comment and your sentiment. I’m slowly plotting and planning for what will happen at the end of February early March. But I am not going to push myself – for now, sitting and working it out on the computer is fine. Taking my dog for walks again is even better.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Enjoyed this article?

    Find more great content here: