Thursday, January 04, 2007

Resolutions by any other name

I gave up New Year's resolutions a decade ago, because they stressed me out and made me feel pressured. I did make one resolution a few years back - I might have been the only person in the world to resolve to watch more television, because I worked in television production and never knew what shows my coworkers were talking about - but it didn't work. I still was distracted by the computer, by books, and, sometimes, even by real life.

But this year, like so many other people, I am in a fresh-start frame of mind. And so, inspired by my friend Laurie's admirable example of making resolutions and checking in on her progress, I made the following list, but I am not calling them resolutions, because that's so strict:



PAINT or DRAW something every day, even if it’s just a doodle.

WRITE IN MY JOURNAL every morning, even on the weekends.

Eat more than one serving of FRUITS or VEGETABLES every day. (Yeah, I just want to get the habit started -- I'll work up to the "recommended amount.")

WORK OUT 3 days a week and gradually increase that to 5 to 6 days a week (I’m not setting a weight loss goal because what I really want is to be in better shape and healthier).


READ A POEM a day, out loud. (I didn't manage this the first three days of the year, but today, I read six poems, so I caught up a little.)

Stop at least once a day and look around to APPRECIATE things that are good.

Write a LETTER to a FRIEND or FAMILY MEMBER, just because, every week or two, even if it's a postcard.

Write a COMPLIMENTARY LETTER a month – to an author I like, a company with a great product, someone who has been important in my life, etc.

Write a LETTER TO THE EDITOR a month (any editor).

Go to one MUSEUM a month. There are 8 zillion museums around here, a lot of them are free, and there are no excuses not to go. And I think it's acceptable to repeat a museum, because I really want to go back and see the Tiffany glass collection at the Chrysler Museum. (This photo doesn't begin to do it justice; it's in a room by itself and the room glows.)

BAKE at least once a month and really get bread right for once.

SEW one project a month.


REACH OUT to my friends and family. Make an effort to keep in touch with the people I care about. I am not very good at keeping in touch with friends, and I deeply regret that.


Practice GERMAN.


BELIEVE in abundance, grace, serendipity and miracles and appreciate them when they come.

Add three NEW DISHES to my repertoire (meaning I don’t need a recipe any more).

TAKE A CLASS, any class. Maybe even two, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

WRITE A NOVEL, even if it’s a very bad and very short one.

Laurie also picked a monthly resolution.


Finish my BUSINESS PLAN. (It has started to feel like a dissertation and I don't think that's the point.)

In conclusion, I am optimistic. I focused on things that will make my life more enjoyable, instead of on things that I "should" or "must" do, with a few exceptions, but those will still make my life more enjoyable. I am really, truly looking forward to the coming year.

No comments: