My resolution was this: Every time I found my stress level rising, I would ask myself one question about the stressor at hand: How much does this really matter?
The idea, of course, was that the question would support me in sweating the small stuff less, and that it would help me recognize that the vast majority of items I was stressing about did, in the greater scheme of things, fall into the category of “small stuff.”
I figured that by simply asking and answering this simple question on a regular basis, I would worry less, enjoy more and reserve my best energies for the things that mattered most. I’d make smarter decisions, adopt a more compassionate, hopeful mindset, and wind up healthier in the bargain.
So how did it go? Pretty well, I’d say. As with most resolutions, I had my moments of backsliding and relapse, moments where I forgot my magic question and let myself get all worked up about things I later had the hindsight to recognize as the piddling trifles they were. But more often than not, my question did the trick, and it eventually became a sort of chill-out mantra. As in: Dude, seriously, how much does this really matter?
I’m happy to report that my worst fear about this whole experiment — that I’d become lackadaisical or downright shiftless — never came true. In fact, there was a happy side effect I wasn’t expecting: I actually got more done.
This turned out to be a banner year for the magazine: We cranked out a boatload of award-winning work (taking home a slew of top regional prizes and our third national award); we refined our approach to a variety of features and departments (watch for a new, multipart Renewal department next month); and, perhaps our biggest accomplishment of all, we launched a brand new Web site. We even had some actual fun in the process.
The new site — still at experiencelife.com — represents both a massive step forward for us and a significantly enhanced resource for you. Here’s just some of what you’ll find:
- A sleek, snappy new interface, chock-a-block with interactive tools and features
- More online content, including book and product reviews
- Real-time rankings of our most popular and our most-emailed articles
- Convenient print-friendly and share-with-a-friend options
- Forums and other ways for you to meet and interact with other readers whose interests match your own
- A free e-newsletter that lets you see the current issue at a glance and that makes Experience Life easier to share with friends
- Blogs from all the clever Experience Life editors you’ve been wanting to meet
- A podcast library, including an archived collection of my “Get a Whole Life” radio shows
- Coming soon: videos that demonstrate how-to steps, take you on fun and informative “field trips,” let you peek behind the scenes at magazine photo shoots, and more
Needless to say, putting together these robust online resources has been no small feat for our team, and I’d be less than forthcoming if I suggested that it hasn’t produced its moments of stress, my super-chill mantra notwithstanding. But that’s as it should be, I think, because both the magazine and its new-model Web site really do matter a great deal to us, and to our core mission of helping readers live healthy, happy, for real.
Both in print and online, we hope the magazine will be of great service to you in the coming year — whether you’re working on New Year’s resolutions or just continuing on the healthy path you’ve been treading. And hey, if you have a helpful mantra of your own that you’d like to share, hit the “Talk to Us” feature and let us know.