Happy New Year!

And welcome to the blog!

If you follow me on Instagram (@wells921), then I owe you an explanation for these posts that have been clogging your feed over the past few months:

image-1

…I’ll get to that in a second. But first, an overview of the blog itself. The premise of this blog is to use New Year’s Resolutions (“NYR”s) as a basis for studying personal development strategies.

Each month, I’ll write a new series about a different NYR. Here are a few I’ve planned to write about:

  • “Learn a New Language”
  • “Be A Better Parent”
  • “Make Time For Myself”
  • “Be More Creative”

I’ll describe my experiences with each of these, and try to make sense of why some strategies worked while others fell flat. I’ll track my progress, and post my results via shared Google Documents which will be neatly embedded into the blog somehow (full disclosure, I haven’t tried this yet but WordPress assures me it can be done). My goal is simple: to use my own experiences to help others set goals and achieve them. 

So in that vein, I wanted to start by helping you guys right now, in the very first post, with a quick tip on a very common NYR:

“Get Organized.”

If your home is anything like mine, it can feel like a never ending battle keeping things clean. Dishes, laundry, trash… it all accumulates so fast and after a long day of working or chasing kids around the last thing you want to do in the evening is take care of chores.

So I’m going to let you in on a secret strategy for guaranteed success in this area. You ready? Here it goes: if you want to get your chores all caught up and your place looking spotless…

Tell all your friends and family that you’re going to start a blog about personal development.

In the days following my blog announcement, I made more progress on dishes, laundry, paying bills, taking out the trash, retirement planning and cleaning the car than ever before. The only thing I couldn’t seem to make any progress on was writing. It was especially bad because, as a “personal development” blog, I was able to justify each of these forms of procrastination as “developing content.” Because if I’m going to tell people how to live better, then my life better be pretty awesome, right? Nothing makes you want to get your shit together like the prospect of teaching others how to do the same.

But after a few days the shock wore off and I finally sat down to write. I accepted the fact that my life didn’t need to be perfect in order to produce meaningful content (quite the opposite, actually). I understood that the goal wasn’t to teach people what to do, it was to do my best and tell the truth.

And I learned that telling the truth is really, really hard. I would write a draft and absolutely love it, then look at it the next day and be mortified. It always seemed like I was trying to be too funny, or too wise. And while sometimes I felt like my writing was too personal, I never felt like it was too honest. I found that the best way to fix a particularly dreadful post was to ask myself: is that what really happened?

I mean, did I really study Italian because I wanted to understand and appreciate another country and culture… or did I actually just want to show off in restaurants?

Did I really get back in the gym because I wanted to set a good example for my kids, or did I actually just want to look better with my shirt off?

Do I really encourage my two-year-old to fully express her emotions during a tantrum so she learns there’s nothing wrong with those feelings, or do I actually just tickle her? And if that doesn’t work, maybe put on Paw Patrol?

This post alone has been through countless drafts as I’ve tried to put into words what’s actually happening. And right now, it’s New Year’s Eve. I’m sitting on the couch in my pajama pants writing and rewriting this sentence, and my mind is racing. I’m wondering who you are and when was the last time we talked. If we’ve never talked, I’m wondering how you found out about this blog in the first place. I’m wondering what time it is when you’re reading this. Did you just watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve? Are you nursing a hangover the next morning? Are you reading this weeks, months, even years from now?

Well no matter who you are or when you’re reading this… thank you. It is an honor and a privilege to share my thoughts with you.

So, have you told your friends and family that you’re starting a blog?

Is your place clean?

Great – then let’s begin. Next week, we’re heading to the gym for one of the most common (and elusive) of all NYRs: “Workout More.”

P.S. Almost forgot – the picture above is an exercise I’ve been doing called Morning Pages from Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. I use it as a means of mining ideas for the blog. Yes, 90% of what I write is completely illegible, even to me. More on this during the May series: “Be More Creative.

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