Nine Thoughts For 2009

January 4, 2009

The year of 2009 is upon us. With that being said it means it is time once again to write out some of our goals to accomplish this year. For many of us the dawn of a new year brings new beginnings and hope for better circumstances. I admit 2008 was not the best year, but alas it was not the worst. I will explain further once we get to the list. So let us get started.

    1. Take a second and reflect on 2008. Then move on.

Last year we saw gas prices rise above $4.00 a gallon during the summer the back down again. It was also a time when we watched the housing market come to a standstill, our 401k plans disappeared, and many of us lost our jobs. There was not a lot to be excited about in 2008. My suggestion, get over it and move on.

    2. Go somewhere you haven’t been in a while.

I have always found it amazing how things are constantly changing. One of the best examples of this is when you take a moment and go back and visit a place you knew when you grew up. Go there. See how change has impacted the area. Is the park you once played at gone? Is there a new store in place of the old gas station where you bought your penny candy (I know it doesn’t exist anymore)? Remember, as this location has changed so have you. Embrace the change you see, whether good or bad, then ask yourself what change you want to see in yourself this year.

    3. Start a new hobby, or pick up an old one.

There is no way to enjoy life then to take on a hobby. Find something you enjoy and do it. Everyone needs a place to escape life and engage. Does it require dusting off the golf clubs, or is going down to the hobby store and picking up some art supplies. Does it involve joining a book club? Whatever it is just get out there a do it. When you decide what it is you enjoy do one last thing. Tell someone, invite a friend, and let us know how it is going.

    4. Find a new reason to love your job again/or get a new one.

Here is one problem I see. For most of us we spend more time at our job each week then we do at home. If you do not enjoy what you are doing then it is inevitable that you will be miserable when you are not at work. Our work impacts every other aspect of our life. For this simple reason you MUST find a way to love what you are doing. If you cannot then do some self-reflection and decide what it is you want to do. I am not saying that you need to go out there a quit your job right away but start putting yourself in a position to take on a new one when the opportunity is right. Do you need more education, or work experience. That is easy to do. There are many schools that are offering night classes, or you can even volunteer to gain experience.

    5. Occasionally take the stairs.

Admit it. We are lazy! For this simple reason we need to take any opportunity we can to challenge our bodies. If you see some stairs take them, if you are going lunch and can walk do it, and if find a reason to exercise don’t pass it up. Enough said.

    6. Phone a Friend.

Remember a time when life was less hectic and you had time to hang out with friends? As humans social interaction is in our nature. There are so many ways today to get back in touch. Is it through using Facebook, Myspace, Classmates, or just picking up the phone? Whatever way you choose to do it make an attempt to get back in touch with those that you once considered a friend. If you actually take a moment and catch up with an old friend I bet that when you do you will thank me.

    7. Unplug you life for one day and just enjoy.

Turn off your computer, blackberry, television, and radio, absolutely everything!! Take time to listen to your kids, wife, girlfriend, or whoever you have half-heartedly paid attention to from time to time last year.

    8. Do that “one” thing you have been meaning to do since the turn of the century.

Is it cleaning the garage, starting a new project, or going somewhere? Make this the year that you actually do it. When you’re done you will be able to relax.

    9. Step back and realize that things are not all that bad.

The media feeds off our fears that things are bad and only going to get worse. They also love to create them. Don’t buy into these fears. For many of us things are not as bad as we perceive them so get out there and make the most of where you are at in life.

If we all take a moment and write down what we want to make out of 2009 then there is a greater chance of actually getting it done. Don’t just take what I have suggested and go with it but instead come up with your own. What are you going to do with this year? Let us know.

Nathan McIntyre