Twenty-something years ago I made a New Year’s resolution to never again make a New Year’s resolution. Since this is the only resolution I’ve ever kept, I don’t want to ruin it by making resolutions for 2012. But I do feel the need to develop some kind of plan or list or (gasp) structure for the coming year. This will be a year of change for me, and I’d like to be more active than passive as these changes unfold.
Since resolutions are out I thought about goals, but that always sounds like work-word to me. Besides, what if I don’t achieve these goals? Do I get a “needs improvement” or “fails to meet expectations” as a rating for my life? I really don’t want to go there.
I like mottos and catchphrases, so I decided to develop one of those for my year. “Just do it” works well, but that’s taken. “The Year of Cindy” is good, but I’ve already used that one. “The year the world ends” is catchy, but defeats the purpose of my motto.
As a fourth choice, I started with “the year of focus,” but quickly realized I needed more than that. I’m perfectly capable of deciding to spend the next few months “focusing” on watching bad movies and daydreaming about living in a warmer climate.
“Focus” is too abstract, too easy to manipulate, but I didn’t want to drop the word completely since I do, in fact, need to focus. “Productive” is a little more concrete and measurable, and I also need to be productive, so I paired the two. “Focused productivity” sounds too assembly-line for me, plus I don’t really know what that means. “Productive focus” works better, but still leaves me too much leeway. Ultimately I decided on “Focused and Productive.”
I’m sure I can figure out a way to rationalize my way out of that, but for now it works—short, simple, and, if followed, helpful. To help make it more “focused” I added the list below—the objects of my focused and productive 2012.
- Finding a job. (For obvious reasons, this is #1. I started to put “Win the lottery” as #1, but remembered “productive” and limited this list to things I can actually do.)
- Buying more lottery tickets.
- Completing the novel I started back in November during NaNoWriMo. (I don’t want to waste those 50,199 words. “Write a novel” has been on my to-do list since sometime in the late 1960s, and this is probably the closet I’ve ever gotten to actually finishing one.)
- Cleaning out my basement. (It’s kinda scary down there. A whole family of monsters could have taken up residence and I wouldn’t even know.)
- Exercising more regularly. (I’m getting older. It’s harder and harder to get back in shape when I skip exercising for a few days. Or weeks. Okay, months.)
- Cooking more often. (This one’s easy. So far I’ve cooked twice in January, putting me on pace to smash the record of times cooked in previous years.)
- Establishing a schedule for blog posts. (This one’s a little tricky. I do this for fun and don’t want it to become a chore, but I also don’t want to be quite as loose and random as in the past. I’m thinking Tuesdays and Fridays—does that work for everyone?)
- Keeping track of books I’ve read. (I suspect this is part of getting older, but I have a terrible time remembering book titles, authors, main characters, etc. A few sentences, a couple of minutes, and I’m all set.)
- Going outside
on sunny winter daysat least 4 days a week in the winter.
- Refraining from making stuff up just to get to “10” on a list.
So what about all of you? Do you make resolutions? What are they for the year? Do you have a motto for the year? Or are you just heading into the year with a smile?