Yesterday while skimming the headlines of the Huffington Post, I spotted the article titled the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, and while it sounded a bit morbid, I was intrigued so I clicked to read more. The article came at a good time for me since I hadn’t made any resolutions for the year but was hoping to make some goals for myself.
Bronnie Ware, author of the article, spent many years caring for dying patients and she has written and spoken on the life lessons she’s learned through her experiences. Here are the top five lessons learned:
1) I wish I’d had the courage to be true to myself instead of always doing what is expected of me. How many times do we force ourselves to do things we really don’t want to do? One of my doctors once told me that when he was young all he wanted to do was to be an architect. He went off to school to major in design and in his freshman year his dad paid him a visit one weekend. The purpose of the visit – to tell his son that he would not be an architect, instead he was expected to be a doctor. That moment changed the entire course of his life.
2) I wish I didn’t work so hard. Now this had my name all over it. My work days are generally 11-12 hours long and it really bothers me but I’ve yet to figure out how to change the pattern.
3) I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Most of the time when I hold back, I do so to “keep peace in the valley” but is there really peace when internally I’m frustrated of feeling regret for not speaking up for myself?
4) I wish I’d stayed in touch with friends. I really try on this one but there is always room for improvement.
5) I wish I’d let myself be happier.
|A creative, fun painting class with friends|
As part of our professional development program at work I’m reading Stephen Covey’s, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (the workbook version) and it was the perfect time to ready Bronnie Ware’s article. The first habit in Stephen Covey’s book is BE PROACTIVE and I was reminded of the saying “if it is to be, it’s up to me” so this morning I got up an emailed a small group of trusted friends to organize a vision board gathering so that I can create something visual to help remind me of the changes I’d like to make this year.
When the calendar rolled over to 2012 several bloggers posted they didn’t plan to make resolutions because they rarely followed through with the resolutions during the year. Yes, some years this is the case for me but I’m taking a different approach this year by giving myself a little more time to think about the resolutions, developing strategies to help achieve the goals and putting some accountability in place with support from good friends. It may not have perfect end results but I have high hopes.
Have you made resolutions for 2012 and what is your plan for the follow through?