Saturday, January 8, 2011

Concerning an Annual Conundrum

Every year around this time I come up against the same question: to resolve or not to resolve?   More specifically, do I make a New Year’s resolution this year, or do I give up on the idea altogether (before I have a chance to break that noble resolution)?

Normally I’d almost immediately jump to the “give up” part, but this year, having spent a semester talking about setting goals in grad school, I’m starting to think that setting a few attainable goals for the year isn’t too horrible an idea.

That then raises the question, “Which goal?”  For help, I google searched “Top 10 New Year’s resolutions, 2011” to see what other people are doing.  The results were unsurprising, but disappointing.  Most had something about loosing weight, which is always one of my goals (so why bother making it a New Year’s resolution?).  “Getting organized” was also popular, generally followed by “Procrastinate less” (this makes me feel much better, knowing the rest of the world is just as disorganized as I am, and just as liable to put off eventually getting organized...).  Of course, I promised myself I’d set attainable goals, and let’s be honest, organizing my life isn’t a really attainable goal.  I thrive in semi-organized chaos.  Most lists also included something along the lines of “enjoying life” which just seems like a cop-out.  Identify what it is that’s preventing you from enjoying life and change that.  I don’t intend to waste my time with vague, sappy resolutions.

So we’re back at square one.  Clearly, google doesn’t think about New Year’s resolutions the same way I do.  However, after some careful consideration, I have come up with 3 goals for the New Year that I think I can accomplish:

 Maintain a daily yoga practice.  “A daily yoga practice” could mean any number of things.  I do intend to participate in the 40 day challenge again next year, but the rest of the time I try to practice yoga in the studio at least 3 times a week.  I start most mornings with a short set of sun salutations, meeting the “daily yoga practice” goal in a way I might actually be able to maintain.  I should also mention that I’m supplementing the yoga with some more aerobic walking and jogging.

 Keep in contact with friends and family.  This is my one concession to google’s “top 10” lists, but I’m REALLY bad at calling people.  Everyone who knows me knows this.  I absolutely hate talking on the phone, and I use that as an excuse to just... not do it.  Well, friends, this year, I’m going to fail equally badly at calling you, but I’m trying to change my ways.  Luckily, we also have email, skype, facebook, and all sorts of other ways to keep in contact. 

 Learn how to bake a superb pie crust.  This will probably be my summer project.

Well, there you have it.  Notice there’s nothing about grad school or future career goals in there.  I figure I’ll be setting enough of those types of goals through my grad school program that I could drive myself crazy if I try doing it for New Year too.  We’ll see how well I do. 

Happy New Year!