At the end I want to remember my life was more than work

We are almost a month into 2016, and I am struggling to stick to my New Year's Resolution.

This year I vowed, or at least vehemently promised myself, that I would simplify my life.

I'm a workaholic-perfectionist, that has one dial; on. The words, chill, veg out, relax, do not resonate with me. In fact they cause me to have a very visceral reaction.

To make my resolution work I needed to take it in steps, because too much change over night can cause a panic attack.

Step 1: Do things that make you happy.

There were things in my life that I gravitated towards because I had the skills/training to do them. That combined with my stubborn tenacity made me good at them. I interpreted that as, "I should do this." But after some careful consideration I realized I was mostly a giant stress ball pursuing so many things and not very happy. These multiple projects began to be work that morphed into mental lists with a set of never-ending tasks that I had to check off before I could go back to doing what made me happy.  There were certain parts that I loved and others that I hated, flat out hated. If I keep the idea of balance in mind, and asked myself, "If I can hate aspects of what I'm doing than do I truly love the other parts or am just infatuated with the idea if this?

Step 2: Keep your Calendar clear.

Shortly after I started cutting things out of my life, I found myself thinking, "Wow I have so much free time, what can I do?" Old habits, am I right? I was so used to going nonstop I didn't remember how to just sit still and embrace no plans. But that is the point of simplification. A quick check in with my husband reminded me of that pivotal fact.

Step 3: Stop obsessing and let your smartphone be smart.

When you are balancing multiple careers and hobbies and family and life it's easy to maintain a level of wakefulness, where even when you've ended the day and are lying in bed you're still thinking, "What else needs to get done? Who else do I need to call back? What else? What else? What else?" Instead of that, let your calendar - whether on your phone or email, keep track. Let your device worry about the next day, week, or month so you can rest assured that your life is in order.

It's only been 28 days but I'm noticing that I'm on my phone less, I'm working 40 hours a week no longer 18-20 hour days. I'm actually planning a vacation, and I'm getting back to me. I'm removing self-imposed deadlines, and realizing what, 'in the moment' means. These are all part of my core values, I just needed to sort through the chaos to remember.