Thinking About The Number 4

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.

Today is the fourth day of a month. It is also the fourth day in a row that I am writing blog posts
because I am getting back on track with writing every day. 

Number four, I thought, had no real meaning to me. It's not one of my favorite numbers. I like 3, 5, and 7 [and a few others] so I started thinking about four. What I actually did was go to one of my sites [PresenterMedia] where I can get images. I looked for a bouncy 4 and it was blue so I changed the color to green and voila! I got my idea! 4 seasons!!

So here we go - 4 seasons!

MY four: seasons

Winter

I love winter. I love winter so much I spent a lot of my adult life living in New England. But then I got tired of all that white stuff under my feet, shoveling it, and all of that so I left. Now I live where I can drive to snow but I don't get it in my city as much.

Spring

I also love spring. I love the flowers growing and the bees are rising but I could get started on my soap box about bees because we don't have enough of them anymore and they're dying off. When the bees go the food supply goes but that's for another blog post.

Summer

Summer is not always my favorite season. It really depends on where I live. I do not like hot and I especially do not like hot and humid. And I lived in Washington DC for almost 2 decades so I know hot and humid. I can adapt to it, but I prefer to avoid it.

Fall

I do like fall. I love the colorful maple leaves that fall. When I was a kid we collected them and coated them with paraffin so that we could have them forever. 

Thoughts? Comments? Random Newsletters?

Thank you!

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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.  

  • I would love winter more if my job didn’t require me driving in it. But it is beautiful. Summer time is where the living is easy! Spring is the rising of earth energy. A wonderful food for the soul.

    • Thank you. I love all seasons but in moderation. As I mentioned, I lived in New England that really did tire me of all the snow, And all the driving that I had to do in it. I still love snow and I’ll probably drive to some next week.

  • I love all the seasons but some more than others. I don’t feel as well in heat but I love the cold of a sunny January day. I do love your graphics.

  • I am with you on not liking the heat, especially when it’s also humid. Fall is my favorite season, although Christmas is my favorite seasonal experience. I would love to live somewhere where there is a very distinct transition to fall, and then a big celebration of Christmas with a small town feel.

    • Thank you for the comment, Jeanine. You might really like some small New England towns. Fall is lovely and is a real transition. And in most New England towns, there’s snow on the ground and lots of decorations, and they’re very Christmasy around the end of the year. You do have to like snow because you can have it from September through May. And have large heating bills to go with it 🙂

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