Resolving to be Less Resolute

January 26, 2012

Julia Smith

Julia Smith, CEM, is senior vice president, national sales at GES (, where she has been collaborating with exhibition clients for more than 23 years.

Now that we’re nearly a month into the New Year, I’ve had the chance to test my resolve in living by my resolutions. Our industry makes having a healthy lifestyle challenging, but I'm ever-optimistic that I can achieve a good work/life balance. How am I doing so far?

Resolution 1: Get more sleep. Study after study says that it’s important for everything from health to weight control to mental acuity (not to mention keeping down my purchase of under-eye concealer).  With two DVRs, I can no longer use my favorite 10 P.M. shows as an excuse. How am I doing? Not so well ... The days just aren't long enough for everything I want to do.I wrote this on a return leg of a trip, which amounted to 22 hours total at my destination, only five of them asleep. Grade:  C

Resolution 2: Keep exercising. My grade here is better, but the 5:45 a.m. alarm to make it to the gym is contributing to my failure at Resolution 1. Grade:  B + (To be re-evaluated after a month or two back into my travel frenzy).

Resolution 3: Live in the moment more. I can live a little too much in my head when I’m multi-tasking, yet I am keenly aware that life is flying by. Not to get too Oprah here, but I’m making an effort to really focus on people (like my very patient husband) and smell those proverbial roses. In fact, I actually just had a conversation with passenger 6A beside me, while we were powering down our iPhones, BlackBerries and iPads for takeoff!  Grade:  A-

Resolution 4: Stick to my diet, sort of. This is definitely in the over-sharing category, but I’ve put on and taken off the same 25 or 30 lbs probably eight times in my adult life. Traveling and entertaining (and all the challenges in resolutions 1 and 2) haven’t always been my friends in this fight. I've been doing well for a few months, but got a rare upgrade to first class tonight, and there was that sundae.  Grade:  B

Resolution 5:  Read more books. I've always been an avid reader, but trying to keep up with work deadlines, sleep (see 1), exercise (see 2), living in the moment (see 3), spending time with family and friends, riding my horses, etc., have kept that stack of unread books dusty. However, I’m a big fan of audio books, which help with freeway commutes. I also travel with at least one electronic device for reading matter and so far on this trip I have finished two books and three magazines.  Grade: A

All this do-gooding is making me tired (see 1), so I'm adding a Resolution 3.1 to lighten up and have more fun.  After all, I can work off that sundae (4) tomorrow morning (3), even if it means a short night (1). See what I mean about living in my head a little too much? 

Did you make any resolutions this year? I'd love to hear how you’re doing. Share them on our GES Facebook wall or e-mail me at

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