I don't really like to make "resolutions".
To resolve, really, is to determine purpose or intention. Is it any surprise then that the average New Year's 'resolution', scribbled hastily and abstractly in the wee hours of a socially lubricated holiday, is often in the trash before you can make it through a round of Auld Lang Syne? I can make many a statement about my purpose or intention without ever actually doing anything about either. Inaction and failure to progress only frustrate people (and me) further, leading away from what could be positive change and back down the road of old habits. For fear of that same old fallback, I don't really make 'resolutions' at the stroke of 12 amid the bubbly and streamers.
I am still, however, a list maker at heart. I like to make goals and have action plans with steps and checklists for me to track my progress along the way. The beginning of a new calendar year is a helpful stop/start point for new goals, and evaluating new goals around this time of year helps me stave off the urge to create random (and oh so popular) "I will lose 50 lbs" or "I will save $10,000" statements that I will inevitably not act on or will forget in the coming weeks. Yes, goals. Goals are objectives with plans to get to them, and I much prefer them to inclinations or determinations.
On Gratitude ...
For the gratitude I have for this life and this world, I've put all of my personal (read: health) related goals under the gratitude category. How better can I give thanks, then by making the very best out of exactly what I was given? I've not paid as much attention as I likely should to the 'body as temple' concept in the past, and I'd like to slowly but surely make efforts to change that.
1. Carve 15 minutes of quiet time out of my day for contemplation, meditation, and devotion.
2. Add 2 Nalgenes (my favorite tried and true reuseable water bottle) of water to my day.
3. Eat 3 meals everday.
4. Take my vitamins and medicines.
5. Find flexible and fun options for 90 minutes of movement every week.
On Simplicity ...
January makes me think that we own too much stuff. Every. Single. Year. January is the month that we make the people at Goodwill the happiest because I get all antsy about the clutter (which there really isn't that much of), and decide to start passing on stuff left and right. If you lived near by, you could have first dibs. Usually, I think I need to sort through every single thing in our house in ... oh ... the next 12 minutes. It always starts our frantic and obsessive, and by about the second room I want to do nothing but climb up on top of the pile of no longer needed clothes on my bed and take a nap. I'm always exhausted, everything is a disaster, and it ends up worse than it started.
This year I am welcoming the Room a Month plan. It may take me the entire year to sift through what we have, but I won't be collapsed in a pile under a shelf in the basement by the second day and perhaps we'll finally get to the bottom of the hidden treasure trove called our basement. We have 11 rooms ... now to figure out what order to put them in.
On Frugality ...
1. Create a menu in an attempt to prevent dinner time spaz-outs. (We used to have a menu, but I let it slip when I went back to school ... I know, I know, the worst possible time.)
2. No more real money spent on fast food. Gift cards earned from points and the like are fine, but can't be purchased by us.
3. All lunches for school and work will be brown bagged.
4. I will challenge myself with a new, much lower grocery budget of $120 for my family of 5. Yay, challenges!
5. We will be debt free by 12/31/2009 (except the student loans and the house) if I can find $156 in extra snowflakes every month for debt. I cannot even believe I can say that, as we have long been convinced we wouldn't be debt free for another 100 years.
Now, before you think I'm going to launch into all of these at the same time, I much prefer the Goal A Month program. It takes the brain 21 or so days of continued effort and repetition to create a new habit, and as such I will focus on only one goal from each category at a time, and intend to blog more specifically about them as they arrive. There are only 5 goals in two of the three categories because I both want the flexibility to take more time if necessary, and the chance to reevaluate as I go. They're goals, remember, not resolutions!
Did you create any goals for the new year? Have you thrown out those crazy 'resolutions' yet?