Think about what you did right this year

Published by Lori Pickert on December 31, 2012 at 10:57 AM

I have a thing about goals, so I really like the New Year. I like the beginning of all the seasons. When things change over, it feels like a reboot. You can stop, reassess, make new plans, and so forth.


The problem with resolutions is that they so often don’t pan out. It takes significant effort to really make a lasting change in your life. And failing again and again can make you feel like just giving up. Being inspired is nice, but action is tough.

But change really is possible. The way we go about it is often a waste of time and more harmful than helpful.

Don’t just think about what you don’t like about your life. Think about what you DO like — then figure out how to have more of it. Think about what’s working and how you can make that happen more often. Put your attention and focus on the thing you want to see more of. Feed your successes.

Think about smaller steps. It’s difficult to completely change from bad to good, but it’s possible to slowly build new habits. If you focus on one small thing at a time, failure will only send you bumping down one step instead of a whole flight of stairs.

Focus on positive goals, not negative goals. Instead of “stop,” “don’t,” and “no,” create goals that say “try,” “do,” and “prioritize.” Embrace the people, habits, and things that create good in your life. Adding more of them will automatically create less of what works against you.

The first step is believing that you can make the life that you want. If you want your children to build that life for themselves, you must believe that you can do it, too. If they see you living the life you want, they will know they can do it, too.

Posts about Goals and Resolutions:

Goals, goals, goals: Expectations vs. reality (Princess Bride edition)

Resolutions get a bad rap (The 5 resolutions that work for *everyone*)

Four ways to make a change — “The parts of your life that you value most deserve most of your attention and effort.” Believe it!

A good resolution

Published by Lori Pickert on January 2, 2012 at 09:15 PM

hat tip: Maria

The smartest, most glorious way to do anything

Published by Lori Pickert on November 4, 2011 at 01:00 PM

You have to be willing to make mistakes, and you have to be willing to make mistakes in public. Sometimes the best way to learn something is by doing it wrong and looking at what you did. When I was 15 going on 16, punk rock, the idea of here’s a chord, here’s another, here’s one more chord, now form a band, is one that sort of always stayed with me…

…It still seems to be the smartest, most glorious way to do anything: You do it. People who want to be writers say, what should I do? And you say, write! [Laughs] And they’ll say, then what? And you say, well, finish things! And they say, well, then what? Well, write something else. That’s how you do it. If you do it over and over, sooner or later you’re going to be writing stuff that’s publishable. And if you keep doing it, you’ll probably get fairly good. You have, you know, a million lousy words inside you, and you’ve got to get them out. I think there’s something very real and very true in that. How do you do it? You do it. Look at other people. Learn everything you can from everywhere. The most important thing is to do it.

— Neil Gaiman


Published by Lori Pickert on August 25, 2011 at 02:04 PM

Gever Tulley’s TED Talk about the importance of tinkering. Via MindShift.


Published by Lori Pickert on January 27, 2011 at 04:32 PM

From Core77: “ Makedo [is] a system of connectors that lets the child join a variety of material together, paper cups, cardboard, empty boxes, and whatever else you've got laying around. A series of simple (and safely blunted) tools enable the child to perform primitive construction operations and modify materials to accept the connectors, truly reinforcing the notion that you can shape the world around you with a little imagination and elbow grease.”


Resolution 5 - Quit

Published by Lori Pickert on January 10, 2011 at 02:28 PM

Quit being so hard on yourself.

Quit measuring yourself against other people.

Quit making excuses.

Quit thinking it’s all or nothing.

Quit waiting for the perfect time.

Quit sabotaging yourself.

Quit being defensive.

Quit giving up.

Quit wasting time on things that don’t fit with the life you want.

Quit. So you can start.


Resolution 1 — It’s not all or nothing.

Resolution 2 — Break it down.

Resolution 3 — Take real baby steps.

Resolution 4 — Use the upward spiral.

Resolution 5 — Quit.

How to be alone

Published by Lori Pickert on August 16, 2010 at 03:39 PM

A lot of interesting things were brought up in this weekend’s open thread, and they had me busy thinking and scribbling notes to myself.

Hopefully I’ll have a post up in the next day or so about perfectionism, stress ... and the things we do that are just for ourselves.

In the meantime, Brain Pickings offered up this post:

Modernity offers a curious paradox of connectedness and loneliness. Our perpetually networked selves cling to constant communication in an effort to avoid the deep-seeded sense of loneliness we so dread. Somewhere along the way, we forget — or maybe never even learn — how to be alone, how to stay contented in our own company. — How To Be Alone

This ties in nicely to my thoughts this weekend about how we sometimes have to break free of the stranglehold of always considering other people's expectations and whether our work is attractive or makes sense to anyone other than ourselves. When we judge ourselves too harshly or set our expectations too high, we can’t experience the relaxed playfulness that learning requires. We need to be comfortable with ourselves, with being alone, with doing things that are only for ourselves and no one else.

Poet and singer-songwriter Tanya Davis and filmmaker Andrea Dorfman address this forgotten art in How To Be Alone — a beautifully hand-illustrated, simply yet eloquently narrated visual poem full of all these things we so often need to tell ourselves and believe, yet so rarely do. — How To Be Alone

Be sure to check out the visual poem — it’s wonderful!

Conscious of our treasures

Published by Lori Pickert on August 2, 2010 at 01:39 PM

Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit, and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these. — Susan B. Anthony (hat tip: Helen)

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. — Thornton Wilder

Do it now

Published by Lori Pickert on July 29, 2010 at 01:24 PM

If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come. — C.S. Lewis

Do you ever find yourself thinking that you will get a fresh start tomorrow .. or next week? That when things settle down after the holidays, you’ll get down to it? That you just need to get this or that off your plate .. and then you’ll be ready?

Do it today.

Action generates inspiration

Published by Lori Pickert on July 27, 2010 at 03:18 PM

We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action. — Frank Tibolt

Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.  — Madeleine L'Engle