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New Year’s Resolutions are a mixture of ridiculousness and hope. The reason for resolutions, as I see it, originates from our year end reflections in December, and a desire to “do better” the next year; to improve our lives, and achieve life-long goals. Often, it is an exercise in futility, at least for me. Our will is generally too weak to compel us to work toward our goals/resolutions everyday like we should, and that aspect is even more real in this modern day, when we are bound to our technology, our jobs, and our culture; all of which work against us.
Now it’s been discussed for years that we have a habit of choosing resolutions that are too grandiose, too big to accomplish, thus causing us to become frustrated, and surrender to the seeming futility of it. This most certainly has been my case for the last several years. My past resolutions have included: publishing a novel, which I scaled back to publishing anything the next year; losing 80 lbs., which I scaled back to 50 lbs. the following year; moving out west, which I scaled back to moving out of my rural community. I failed at all these resolutions, because they were unattainable at my current lifestyle.
This year, I’ve scaled everything back to what I believe to be reasonably attainable goals, that are highly manageable, and require little discipline. I have also decided to post my resolutions publicly for the sole purpose of opening myself to some sort of accountability, so that if those I know ask me how I’m doing, I’ll be more inclined to have a substantive response. So without further delay, here are my simple resolutions for the year 2012:
- Write something, anything, once a day. (Whether this be a full blog post here on WordPress, half of a chapter in my book, commentary on a share on my Posterous, a poem, a song lyric, or a journal entry. I just need to write something.)
- Read three books. (This may not seem like a difficult challenge, but having worked in Retail Management for the last quarter century, I have not had the luxury of time to sit and read a book. Believe it or not, you can fall out of practice with reading. This task should be made more easy by the recent Christmas gift I received from my co-workers, A Kindle Fire.)
- Workout 30 minutes/day. (The past few years I tried to reach a certain level of loss in poundage, which ultimately failed. Last year, I switched to what I thought would be more attainable, a loss of inches around my waist. However, that also proved frustrating. This year, I’m not focusing on losing anything, but rather on just the activity. If I can train myself to workout in some manner for 30 minutes/day, according to the “experts” the flab will disappear.)
- Find a new revenue stream. (This may be achieved by either finding a new job, taking on a second job, taking on freelance writing jobs, selling my excess comic book inventory, or hitting the lottery. Whatever is, just like everyone else, I need more income to off-set my outflow.)
- Digitize/Organize my life. (This last one seems to be the easiest to accomplish. I want to export/backup all old physical photos, writings, music, VHS recordings, documents, medical records, etc. I’m a minimalist at heart, and having all these items lying around feels like clutter to me.)
So there they are. My scaled back, seemingly manageable and attainable New Year’s Resolutions for 2012. Why even attempt resolutions, you may ask? As a person who has battled depression for most of his adult life, challenging myself to make small improvements for the better can only improve my overall mood and self-image. All of these resolutions tie directly, or indirectly, into balancing out those factors that contribute to my depression. So I guess you could call it . . . therapy.
All future progress on these resolutions will be tagged, and you can follow along if you wish, and keep me honest.