2009 was a very good year for me (if you aren't nauseated by some serious horn-tooting, you can check out my recap, writing-wise, here). But it's human nature to try to do better.
That's why I'm big into New Year's Resolutions. There are usually plenty of areas in my life than can use some good resolving, so every year I draw up a list. Diligently. Thoughtfully. Some years I even write them down. (I resolve to write more stuff down, rather than rely on my spotty memory.)
To be honest, most of them, like G.M.'s, are somewhat vague. And a lot involve incremental language. I'll eat a little better, I'll exercise a tad more, I won't yell at my kids quite as much. Hard to quantify, thus hard to fail at. (I resolve to be somewhat more concrete when I make my resolutions.)
I guess if I wanted more quantifiable yardsticks, I would compile a list of goals. But "New Year's Goals" doesn't have the same ring to it, and I suppose that goals are really a whole 'nother kettle of fish when you get down to brass tacks (I resolve to use fewer clichés.)
During the course of my resolution-crafting, I sometimes get philosophical. Why do we (humans) have to wait until some arbitrarily appointed time to make resolutions to better ourselves? Why can't we address our shortcomings as they crop up instead of putting it off? (I resolve to procrastinate less. One of these days, I'm sure I'll get around to doing that.)
My quest for self-improvement is not a solitary one. I'm always amused by all the ads for exercise equipment, gym memberships, and weight-loss programs that proliferate in January. Ditto for the storage containers and home organizing products. Then I'm doubly amused come February--or March for the slightly more dedicated--when the pages of eBay and Craigslist swell with treadmills (hardly used!) and unopened crates of Jenny Craig lasagnas (hardly used!). (I resolve to spend less time reading ads for stuff I don't want or need.)
Don't get me wrong--I'm all for bettering myself. Like I said, I compile a list of resolutions every year, and (pat on the back) I think I do a pretty good job of sticking to them. But during those last few weeks of the year, when my exercising has waned and I get a glimpse of the overflowing file cabinets in the basement I had resolved to go through eleven months earlier, I always question my, uh, resolve. (I resolve to stick to my resolutions better.)
Here are a few additional ones:
- Read more.
- Maintain my exercise regimen (I've been a little lax on the stretching component).
- Spend my time more wisely, and its corollary, don't waste so much time surfing the Internet and cruising the blogosphere (some version of this one ends up on the list every year).
- Take Vitamin D.
- Reduce clutter. Simplify.
- Eat a new food (Every year I resolve to add a new (healthy) food to my repertoire. Some winners: beans, avocados, hummus. Still can't do Brussels sprouts. And don't get me started on cheese. This year's candidates: edamame or fennel.)
How about you? Any "unusual" resolutions this year?
Have a very happy and healthy 2010!