Learn Something New! Get Your New Year On Track

Are you suffering from a New Year’s hangover?

I am not talking about the sluggish state you may have found yourself in between New Year’s Eve parties and college bowl games. I am talking about all the reflecting and goal setting and affirming you may have poured into making this your best year ever.

I don’t mean to slight the seasonal tradition. It’s just that the process can be a bit overwhelming.

You might find yourself with so many goals that you don’t know where to begin. You could find yourself feeling incredible pressure or even numb.

Try simplifying your lists. Choose fewer goals. Start by giving energy to goals that will feed your ability to reach the next thing you want to accomplish.

Learning something new should be high on your list.

In December, I used a Christmas bonus to do something I have wanted to do for a while; buy a new computer.

After vacillating between the pros and cons of different choices, I decided to get an Apple, a Mac Air. It’s now rigged in my office to power a large monitor and can be easily unplugged and taken to go. I never had a laptop before and have enjoyed this perk.

Since I am a generally a slow adopter to new technology, I was a apprehensive about making this change. (I have never had a smart phone and don’t have teenage children to call on for tech support either.) Still, I was ready to take the plunge. To learn a very new way of doing some things was — is – a big deal for me.

Yes, I bought Outlook for Mac, chose to run a different browser than Apple’s Safari, and signed up for a year of tutoring to make the transition easier. Still, it’s impossible not to see progress, practically daily, in growing my comfort level.

Committing to learning something new is an especially great way to start the year. It’s even nice that the subject is not directly related to specific professional goals I hope to accomplish. I have relieved myself of a lot of pressure by not making core goals directly dependent on how quickly I can learn how to use shortcuts on my Mac.

Just having something in my life where I can see regular progress means a lot to me. It makes me see how a lot of things I might want to do are possible. I am reminded that even though I am old enough to remember 8-tracks and beta format VCRs, I can learn to do some things in a new way. I know I can show up in the world in a different way, too.

Why not start today? Learn something new!
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Deborah Hawkins is a writer, market researcher, and workshop designer. She blogs on gratitude and mindfulness, NoSmallThing.net, and plans to publish Transform Your Life with an Attitude of Gratitude Writing Practice within the year.