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by Barbara Brabec
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I Already Did That!

A New Year's Resolution You Might
Want to Consider

by Barbara Brabec

ONE YEAR, WHILE THINKING ABOUT the New Year's resolutions I ought to make, I got to thinking about something I once heard opera singer Beverly Sills say in an interview. In discussing her work with the interviewer, she made reference to some musical work that she would not be doing in the future and pointed to the necklace she was wearing.

It bore the engraved initials, "IADT." Ms. Sills said they stood for "I already did that." She went on to explain that she sometimes needed a reminder that she no longer had to say yes to every opportunity that presented itself. The message she left with me that day was this:

Once you reach a certain point in your profession or achieve a certain level of expertise, you no longer have to do all the things you used to do.

You’ve paid your dues, and you’re past a certain point of no return. Maybe you have financial security and can afford to be more selective. Maybe your interests and goals have changed, or maybe you feel you’re just getting too old to do certain things you used to do.

Instead of making New Year's Resolutions that year, I applied Beverly Sills' IADT philosophy to my own life and made a list of things I vowed never to do again. My list included such things as turning down speaking engagements if it meant I had to take a commuter plane to get to them, working evenings and weekends, and letting the demands of work or the lure of extra income interfere with vacation plans. A year later, I was pleased to see that I had been about 95 percent successful in eliminating those things from my life. I also noticed that, in the process, I had also eliminated a ton of extra stress.

You don't have to wait until a new year rolls around to make your own IADT list. Now is as good a time as any to do a little thinking about the things that are causing you stress because you no longer want to do them.

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