November’s resolution was to take one complete day off from work. Until November, I had not taken a full day away from work since August 2008. It wasn’t that I had put in an eight hour workday every day since August 2008, but that I had done at least some kind of work every day — respond to Unclutterer email, delete spam comments from the Forums, check in with a client, make a few edits to my writing.
Working for a lifestyle business has many advantages — I can work from anywhere, have flexible hours if necessary, I was home to witness my son’s first steps and hear his first words, and I’m able to be home to take care of him when he’s sick. Additionally, I get to write and help people and do work that I genuinely love. My work and my personal life are deeply connected, and I like it that way.
The one disadvantage of having a lifestyle business is that if I shut off from work, I directly feel any and all negative repercussions. The most obvious of these are the financial repercussions that can impact my family’s well being (e.g. if I don’t answer a call from a client, the client fires me and hires someone else). Every job has disadvantages, and thankfully the advantages of my job far outweigh the disadvantages, it’s simply difficult to walk away for an entire day.
I eventually was successful at taking a day off from work, but I have to be honest and admit that it wasn’t my intention to take that specific day. I accidentally didn’t charge my cell phone while on vacation and so I was forced to take the day off from work. I also spent the entire day fretting and stressing out about not doing the work I had planned. Had it been done on the day I had planned, I think I would have enjoyed it more than the way it happened.
It is fair to say that although I technically completed my November resolution, the resolution was not a pleasant success. Or, more precisely, I realized I made a resolution I didn’t enjoy achieving. I discerned from this experience that I am a person who is okay with doing a little work every day. This may change in the future and I may grow to be someone who wants more time being disconnected, but right now I’m not that person. I enjoy the peace of mind I get from checking in for a few minutes to make sure the proverbial ship isn’t sinking.
For December, my goal has been to create new resolutions for 2012. I sincerely believe that the one resolution per month system has been the most beneficial resolution-making method for me. I was able to achieve — at least in a technical sense — every resolution I set for myself. I have never had this positive of a success rate in previous years. I can look back on 2011 and know I changed myself for the better.
With 2012 only weeks away, how are you doing with your 2011 resolutions? I hope you have had as positive of an experience as I have enjoyed.