Forget 2021 resolutions.
Have your resolutions for 2021 crumbled already?
Invest some time creating a strategy for 2021.
Strategies Vs. Resolutions
Strategy. I am still looking for a non-militaristic term for strategy. I don’t want to use master plan either. The term master is phallocentric language. I have no beef with the word military or the word master. They are perfectly good words. But they have enough attention in our culture. I don’t need to give them any more attention. I like to use words with conscious intention so I do not inadvertently support and strengthen systems that get enough attention as is. Action plan is way too businessy. I like to coin needed word too. Businessy is sort of like messy except in my mind it connotes distraction through over attention to profit and to rigid exclusion of non-economic life actions.
But what’s a woman to do? Oh geesh, there is that word too. Woman, as I learned in linguistics classes decades ago, is a marked term, a term derived from another term and due to that derivation is a less powerful word. Then there is the word power itself. Power suggests control of one sentient form over another. An anthropological concept to which I professionally I adhere to is that influence over another person is always a negotiated relationship.
This could go on forever. So I will stop, but one concept I will use in 2021 is to use neutral but direct language whenever and wherever possible.
The 2020 Pandemic showed us the inherent flaw within the practice of creating “a resolution.”
Losing your job, becoming homeless, or being forced to work from home, or having to avoid gyms for health reasons can sink a single resolution such as losing weight, or putting in for that promotion almost overnight. Single actions may seem like the best bet for crafting something you can and will accomplish, but single actions are twigs, and twigs can be easily snapped. A limb or branch is larger, more supple, and a far more long-lasting structure than a twig.
So how do you create a branch when it comes to bettering yourself? You create resolution within yourself. A resolution, with the emphasis on “a” is just a silly construct that is easily tossed aside. I will begin to answer this by seeing what made me feel successful in my 2020 efforts in spite of the pandemic creating havoc in my life.
I selected a process to attend to in 2020. It, in a nutshell, was to turn my Women’s Legacy Project blog into a business. That, as any business woman or entrepreneur knows, is a complex process. I had previously completed many of the finite tasks required for starting a business such as registering a business entity (LLC, and getting an EIN). I knew from taking some time off, jumping off my unproductive treadmill processes, and really examining what made up my heart / mind / action cycles, that I really did want to:
- research, write and do it through for my own online outlet
- have a business
- create a content product for women like myself
I had decided this much during 2019 when I took a sabbatical. But I still had to figure out what I needed to do to make my determination to turn my blog into a business. I realized I needed to know more about business. So I decided to spend 2020 attending to learning about business.
Then 2020 hit. You can, if you are so inclined, read about my year spent implementing a business mindset.
But back to the matter at hand — develop a strategy for 2021 rather than a resolution for 2021.
7 Ways to Form a 2021 Strategy
- GOALS AND PROCESSES – Think big, as in goals and processes not tasks or list items.
- KNOWN CONCEPT – You have to know enough about it to know that it is something on which you want to focus.
- ACT FROM POSITIVE DESIRE – Want and need are tricky, go inside and examine your motivations – Act on something that brings up positive thoughts . Example: “losing 15 lbs.” usually comes from negative self imagery. You are just as apt to gain 5 lbs when you fail to diet off 15 lbs. Resolving to “feel better” gives you plenty of move around room to accomplish things that contribute to mental and physical health.
- FOCUS ON INCREMENTS – “Be happier” is a far more reachable goal than “get rid of my depression.” And it is one you can work on by yourself or with a counselor.
- SET GENERAL GOALS – Set general goals like ‘Work on Organization” for which you can you can check off diverse smaller tasks that you know you can accomplish without getting bored or overwhelmed.
- “hire an organizer to organize my pantry
- go through clothes in off season storage closet and take every dusty, stained, or too small item to the trash or the donation center
- or get rid of duplicate, blurry, or un-needed digital photos”.
- BE REALISTIC – Don’t say “money is no object” if money is an object. If you cannot travel to a place you have always wanted to go, maybe you can read about, or watch documentaries, or a movie set in, or join a discussion group about that place until you feel like you have been there.
- LEARN TO USE LANGUAGE TO FRAME – Create a perspective that accomplishes your goal with your language and thought. Tell yourself and think yourself in a family focus. Learn more about framing at: this TED talk which focuses on linguistics and this podcast with George Lakoff which is based in politics. If you want to dedicate this year to family, you do not have to be with your family all the time. Framing family might include:
- researching your genetic roots, or your social roots opening an ancestry / genealogical account
- invite one grown child who is always too busy to visit you to send their kids to camp near you so can attach a short visit to either side of their camp dates
- plan to travel once in the coming year to see a family member who lives in another city, county, or state
- organizing or updating family photos or photo albums
These seven bits of advice on focusing your strategy for doing good for yourself and/or others in the coming new year are guides. Pick through them, apply them as you like, but give using strategy a try.