Over the past three weeks, I cleaned and maintained a clean apartment. It’s silly, but I haven’t thoroughly cleaned and kept my space clean for quite some time. Ask my parents – I was never the kid with a clean room growing up! Living in a big kid apartment, working a big kid job, I decided I needed to start acting more like an adult. This includes doing the dishes in a timely manner or putting my coat on a hanger instead of over a chair or on the couch. It’s a matter of respecting my space and respecting my guests.
There’s a rare feeling I have experienced since cleaning my apartment – some sort of clarity and sense of ease. I’ve heard it before and felt it seldom over the years, but cleaning out a physical space really does help provide mental clarity! This year has been a lot about taking action NOW and not waiting for the next week to start. Inevitably, there are still tasks to be checked off and tasks that will not be completed this year, but overall, I started several.
It’s interesting how the sense of priority changes. I’m a project planner, but plans change as priorities, risks, and resources change. When my apartment became too expensive to maintain in addition to a fancy gym membership, I axed the gym and committed to working out by myself in the apartment’s gym. When my job became a chore and uninteresting, I evaluated my expertise and career growth and switched positions. When I finally realized that spending several hours per week watching television did absolutely nothing to improve my lifestyle, I stopped paying for cable and never unpacked my television. Around the age of 26, you may have expected somebody to finally start gaining a little bit of wisdom as to the person that they would like to grow up to be. Well, I’ll tell you that I’m still growing up, but I’m significantly more invested in this version of myself than the version of myself I was last year.
I’m probably never going to get to everything on my to-do list, and that’s good. Once I achieve everything, what else is left? What else is motivating me to be better today and tomorrow and the day after? No, what I’m realizing is that I don’t need to finish everything today, but I cannot keep staying in this planning phase for forever. I can plan to clean tomorrow; I can promise myself that I’ll put my clothes away tomorrow; I can pretend that this will be the last brownie today, and I’ll go to the gym tomorrow. I’d much rather actually commit to doing one thing to improve myself today than planning on improving five things about myself tomorrow. The plan is important to organize and realize my goals, but I need to follow through with action TODAY. This is my realization over the past year. It’s the “anytime” resolution. Start today!