Four things I’m doing differently in 2010
I love the New Year. It’s my favorite day on the calendar. It’s the day where I can chalk up last year as a loss without guilt and try again. I love New Year’s resolutions. I like my yearly deadline and the whooshing sound it makes when it goes flying by. This year, I’m doing things a little differently for my resolutions.
1. Realize I can’t solve all my problems by myself
People make resolutions to fix problems. I want to eat healthier so that must mean my current diet is causing some type of problem or else I wouldn’t be resolving to eat more green stuff (healthy green, not moldy green).
All those problems I had a week ago. Still there. Resolutions aren’t going to magically give me the answer.
Don’t get me wrong. I love problems. It’s my way of evaluating progress. At no point in my life will all my problems go away. Progress in life is about going from one set of problems to a better set of problems.
Twenty years ago, my problems usually centered around finding a way to buy alcohol while I was too young. These days, my problems center around finding a way to retire before I’m too old. For me, that’s a better problem to have.
So about all those problems I had a week ago. They’re still there. I’d solve them if I could, but I can’t, not with what I currently know. That means I have to look outside myself for answers which INFPs are loathe to do. INFPs feel that if we think about something hard enough, something will click and we’ll come up with that amazing answer. So how’d that work for me last year?
It’s definitely time to do something new.
2. Take a small step forward each day
I don’t find many people who’s life is complete crap. Some parts are good. Some parts could be better. Everyone has to balance relationships, finance, personal development, career, health, family and more. Not all of those are going to be completely awesome all at once and all the time.
Resolutions are pretty overwhelming. They’re overwhelming because resolutions require a change in habits. Habits take about 45 continuous days to kick in. If there’s one habit I need to form first is to take one action each day that gets me forward. All the other habits I want will come easier after that.
3. Avoid long-term unhappiness over gaining short-term happiness
INFPs are amazing at doing things that make them happy in the short-term. I would say we’re better at that than any other MBTI type. The problem is that the extra cookie, the additional charge on the credit card, the call we’ve put off again is that one step back for every two steps forward we make.
The excuse we INFPs use is that we want to be happy now while we can still enjoy it, not later. Who knows what’s goign to happen tomorrow, right? I love that extra cookie and it makes me happy now. But it’s not the only thing that would make me happy now.
I need to do the things that make me happy now, but also won’t make me unhappy in the long-term.
4. Stop thinking about me
I’m the first to admit that INFPs are a bit self-involved. We’re a work in progress that we’re always working on. For me, the problem is that if I concentrate on something for too long, I lose perspective. It’s the can’t-see-the-forest-from-the-trees problem.
Also, I’m usually happiest helping others in little ways. INFP relationship rule 1 is you can’t fix other people’s problems. However, it’s nice to make their journey through life a little be bit easier.
Jan 7, 2010
Rather than resolutions, this year I’m setting a ‘theme’ for the year – something to guide my decisions. Being principle-driven, I’m pretty confident this will work better than a results-driven resolution.
I wrote a bit about it on my blog: http://www.benrhughes.com/blog/2009/12/refactoring-life/
Jan 8, 2010
I so totally relate…
Jan 10, 2010
Hi Corin – I really liked your #4. As INFPs there is nothing quite so interesting as ourselves. 😉 This is good on one hand because we can develop a great sense of who we are and how best to use our gifts. On the other hand, you can forget that you are not the center of the Universe. One major turning point in my life was when I realized that people were not scrutinizing me with the same detail that I was scrutinizing myself. This freed up a lot of my energy. 🙂
Feb 6, 2010
Really well thought out and relevant – to me. OK, starting with #4… now!
Aug 28, 2011
“I like my yearly deadline and the whooshing sound it makes when it goes flying by.”
I like your edited version of Douglas Adams’ quote.
Also, awesome blog, very insightful. I’m 19 and I’m realizing a lot of my weaknesses and unhealthy tendencies as an INFP and am seeking to change and help them before it gets worse. Better now than 10+ years from now :P. Anyway, best of luck mate!