Now is the time of year that we contemplate resolutions in their various forms. Whether we commit to uphold new ones or not, it seems like practically everyone has something to say on the topic of self improvement in the new year. And why not? New Years resolutions are after all, a time honored tradition--so ingrained in the popular psyche that even those who don't make them often feel compelled to justify their actions.
As for HP? I tend to favor ones that seek to improve the quality of my life in rather unnecessary, yet fun ways. For instance, I am way more prone to resolving to "get more manicures" or "drink better wine" than I am to say, master my finances, apply for graduate school, lose 15 pounds, or finish my novel write page two of my novel. I mean, who wants to confront oneself with such potentially unpleasant and daunting challenges when one could instead have lovely hands with which to gesticulate, or enjoy the pleasures of a nice Malbec once in a while? Another thing about resolutions is that those made in say, January, tend to lose their immediacy and relevance months later. A resolution yet unmet in early '10 is one thing, and quite another in May. For those of us who procrastinate, New Years resolutions are festering time bombs of personal failure.
If the goal of a resolution is to enable one to make managable life improvements, and to actually like, better oneself, a more strategic approach is needed.
Which is why I'd like you all to consider the concept of monthly personal goals. In the beginning of every month, you conduct a quick assessment of your life and what you have going on, and then pick one or two things you'd like to accomplish, like "learn how to play bridge," or "organize front hall closet." You then have between 28 and 31 days to accomplish such feats. If for some reason, you take care of your goals before the month is over, you can set some more goals. Regardless, breaking your self improvement goals down into month-long periods creates a more pressing deadline for you to enact them, and doing so will give you the sense of achievement and satisfaction to propel you to the next.
Lest you think that I am some sort of uber-organized, highly motivated person capable of maintaining a level of initiative and momentum unheard of by mere mortals, well...think again. This is me we're talking about here--lazy, unmotivated, a slacker par excellence, a Type B adrift in a city of neo-maxy zoom Type As. If I can do it, so can you.
And speaking of me, I have already accomplished my two goals for January. The first was to establish a reasonable morning fitness routine. This has proven far easier than I ever imagined. Every weekday morning I wake up at 7 and go downstairs to the gym in my apartment building, and I do 30 minutes of cardio at whatever piece of equipment is available. I find that waking up isn't so terrible if I remind myself that there is no point in putting it off, as I will have to get up eventually anyway. It's not like I can just stay in bed all day, so are those extra 30 minutes of alarm clock snooze tag worth it? No. No, they are not. It also seems that exercising in the morning pumps endorphins into my body, and I am not quite as grouchy and lethargic as I am if I sleep in. Finally, it fills me with a sense of accomplishment. Even if I do nothing else all day, and totally space out at work, at least I burned 200 calories that morning. If it helps me burn the evil 5 (10??) pounds I seem to have accidentally packed on over the past 6 months, even better.
Goal #2 was to update my resume. Seeing that I forgot how I had mostly already done that a few months ago, I accomplished that feat yesterday and may even motivate to do something with it. Of course, having completed my resume, I now like my job again. But I'm sure this feeling will not last long. At least while my evil fembot of a boss is still around.
Ps; Apologies for the janky formatting on this entry, Typepad seems to be experiencing some sort of quarter life crisis.