The New Year's List That Sticks

Madelyn Ferris

I have noticed how the parking lot at Planet Fitness is pretty full in January; but, by mid-February, it’s back to normal. And I’m pretty sure January is  the biggest month for Weight Watchers sign ups. Although it depends on who you ask, by now, many New Year’s resolutions have already been broken! Yes, by January 15, in fact, a large number of them are abandoned. Other surveys say that at least 80% of New Year’s Resolutions will be broken by Feb. 1.  What’s going on? Can you relate?

Because I adore lists: starting them, adding to them, and checking things off of them!   As the year draws to a close, nearly every major media outlet publishes their favorites for the year. Granted, this is just one person’s opinion, and sometimes I think the editors live on a different planet than me. The year’s top 10 favorite books, podcasts, movies, editorial cartoons, memes, tweets, you  name it.

Bring. Them. On.

And books about lists? Even better! For example,  in The Checklist Manifesto* the author researched and reported that there are significantly more favorable outcomes when a checklist is used; whether in emergency rooms, surgeries, software design or foreign intelligence. The difference in survival rates alone is amazing.  When next I had surgery, you better believe I asked if they used a checklist.

Certainly, some lists are more meaningful than others. In recent memory, I’ve nudged myself to create more inspiring lists for the new year; not a list of resolutions but, rather, a new way of thinking about the year ahead. If you find yourself disenfranchised with your resolutions, maybe you will also find this list helpful.

This list originates from Ann Voskamp’s popular blog HERE   Each year, I reflect, pray, seek God, and make my new list and it is much less pressure on me. Here is my list for  2019 and you can find a printable version here.

This is the year I PURPOSE TO…

EMBRACE: imperfection

ENGAGE: without social media

BE: less abrupt

BELIEVE: in your future

BREAK: your fear of retirement

DAILY: exercise

DO: show up for others

LET GO: of busyness

LEARN: photo apps

LIVE: in the present

GIVE: encouragement

GROW: to rely on God and others in stressful times

These are things that will never be fully achieved; just pondered, envisioned, lived. There is no goal or expectation in this exercise; just self-reflection on who I could become in the year ahead.  Success isn’t really important or measured; you’ll likely conclude that you just need a little more of this; a bit less of that. Best of all, one cannot really fail. We need only seek to find the next best thing as we purpose to  live our best life next year.

Would you please comment and let me know if you will join me in this special approach to 2019? I’d love to journey together.  

*The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

Madelyn Ferris

Madelyn is a member of Commonway and serves on the elder board. She enjoys reading, puzzles, family, and spending time with her new granddaughter.

Madelyn Ferris

Madelyn Ferris

Madelyn Ferris is a member of Commonway and previously served on the Elder Board. Madelyn holds degrees from Ball State and Indiana University and has been with Paws, Inc. over 35 years. She and husband, Dwight, are enjoying their new granddaughter and thankful that another is on the way!