I spent some time in my previous post talking about what it really means to Respect food and its role in our lives. The topic of respect for people is much broader and somewhat beyond the scope of this blog, but since I plan to work on the concept for the year I’ll make a stab at it. Here are some brief thoughts:
- You can respect the person without agreeing with his/her ideas.
- You can’t show respect for a person without listening to and responding to what he/she has to say. My biggest challenge here: interrupting. I want to jump in the second, the nanosecond, that the other person pauses, even if he’she isn’t finished. It’s very hard for me to refrain from doing this! But interrupting is a sure sign of disrespect.
- You can engage thoughtfully and respectfully in a disagreement by sticking to impersonal statements of fact. (This style of communication is sometimes called “computer mode.” I don’t remember where I read this phrase, but it’s a good one.) In any contentious exchange I try to make one factual statement and then stop. No personal remarks, no long explanations. If it’s an e-mail exchange, no links.
- You can judge how an interaction is going by imagining how you will feel the next time you talk to the person. Will you feel obligated to apologize for your words? Will there be constraint between the two of you because of how things went this time? I have found this concept to be particularly helpful when I find myself in some type of political discussion. If you follow me on my personal Facebook page you know what my opinions are in that regard; I try to keep that subject off of this blog. Suffice it to say that I belong to a very small camp and therefore find myself in disagreement with just about everybody around me. But I don’t want disrespectful, angry relationships with those people. So I have to exercise a fair amount of self-control, something that’s very hard to do.
Okay. That’s at least a start, but I’m sure I’ll be addressing the topic in future posts. Now I’d like to share my New Year’s goals with you. These aren’t for anything in my personal life (but the above ideas on respect give you some clues about that area). These are health and fitness goals, plus some ideas for work scheduling and for new material I want to start developing for this blog. Here they are:
- Keep weight at 115 or below. 115 is the new red line, as opposed to 120. Read here about how I sort of inadvertently lost a few extra pounds and how I plan to maintain that loss. I weigh myself most mornings and record the number on my Google calendar; this morning’s number was 114.
- Maintain a low-sugar diet with very few exceptions. Over the holidays I did allow myself some treats, with one being the fabulous vegan chocolate-caramel tart that I made for my sister-in-law’s birthday dinner. I’ll be posting that recipe soon. My hope is that when I do a self-test for my A1C level on my birthday (March 31), that it will be at or below 6.0. (How many other people do you know who are planning to buy themselves a medical test kit for their next birthday? Seriously weird, I know.)
- Do my physical therapy hip-joint exercises six times a week and my 10-minute workout four times. I want to do a video documenting these routines.
- Go for a walk five times a week. So far this week I’ve gone only twice, so even with today and tomorrow I can’t get in more than four for the week. Birthday dinner preparations on Monday and an afternoon outing Wednesday got in the way, although I have to say that I probably put in several miles’ worth of walking in my kitchen while making that rather elaborate dinner.
- Be at my computer working on my writing by 9:00 AM four days a week, with an overall goal of putting in at least 15 hours and more like 20 hours per week on this area. So far I’ve accomplished this goal yesterday and today! Most Wednesday mornings I have a Bible study from 9:30-11:30, so I need to squeeze in a few hours in the afternoon if at all possible. Other events will inevitably get in the way: I have a doctor’s appointment on Monday morning, for instance. But I have to remind myself, “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” Part of being able to keep going on a goal is to allow for the inevitable interruptions and exceptions without just getting completely derailed. It’s vital not to succumb to the “as long as I’ve blown it a little I might as well blow it a lot” syndrome, whatever the area of life.
- “When you wake up, get up, and when you get up, wake up.” This aphorism is from a former teaching colleague, and it’s a great one. At one point I was indeed getting up when I woke up, which is usually very early, but over the past months I’ve gotten into the habit of just lying there when I wake up and letting my mind wander. Nothing is being accomplished by this! If it’s somewhere close to 5:00 AM I need to just go ahead and get up. If it’s much earlier than that I need to consciously try to get back to sleep, which usually works, and then get up when I wake up the second time. By getting up early I have time to do lots of things before breakfast: devotional/quiet time, making a to-do list for the day, doing any breakfast prep, doing my exercise routine, and taking a shower. I also want to do more reading, a goal I’ll discuss more in detail in a later post as this one’s running long. Then there’s enough time for breakfast, getting presentable for the day and doing some housework before the 9:00 deadline. For some further ideas on this whole concept of getting stuff done before breakfast, read or listen to Laura Vanderkam’s What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.*
Well, I think that will do it for now. Do you have some reasonable, attainable New Year’s goals? How do you plan to implement them?
*Amazon Affiliate link.
More Thoughts on Respect–and Some New Year’s Goals