Wednesday, January 12, 2011

2011 Goals, or, This Post May Come Back to Shame Me in 2012

postcard I purchased in the subway my first week in Japan

I know most people did this post around January 3rd, but the first week of January I was busy enjoying J-Ben and P!'s visit, and then recapping it. So, let's just forgive my tardiness and get on with it :)

I am not a fan of New Year's Resolutions, for a few reasons I'll speak to in generalities. For one, I'm a goal setting, list making, project tackling kind of person. I tend to make frequent goals- on the order of monthly, or weekly, or, when I was in school, semester-ly (that's a word, right?). Plus, New Year's Resolutions seem to often be the only goal setting some people make, ever. As a result, they usually make ambiguous, fuzzy around the edges goals that are hard to quantify and make it nigh unto impossible to assess progress. Or, they make grand sweeping goals that are kind of impossible to achieve. Also, because this is the only time of the year that they might make goals, they are not used to working towards them and making a plan to achieve them. Because of these two problems, New Year's Resolutions have (rightly so) acquired the stereotype of being unachievable, hazy feel good-y type wishes that are uttered into the drunken atmosphere of a New Year's party at 2 a.m., or written haphazardly on a scrap of napkin at a diner where one is eating off the New Year's hangover. Ok, that's a little much, but I got carried away with the point is, I think New Year's Resolutions are the surest way to jinx oneself into not accomplishing said resolutions, simply by cursing them with the name "resolutions". So, my two step solution (I'm no expert, just a girl with a free blogger account) is to a) make goals consistently throughout the year and b) make yearly goals that are quantifiable and measurable. For example, one of my 2011 goals is to read 52 books. That can work out to 1 book a week, or it can work out to book heavy months and book lean months. As long as I have 52 titles by the end of the year, I'm golden. Although, I honestly hope I'm not reading the final 38 books between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Here are my 2011 goals, categorized in ways that made sense to me. I've left out some of the specifics of implementation so that this already rambly and navel gazing post doesn't become 1,435 pages long, but you'll get the general idea.

Food and Fitness

Do at least two cardio workouts a week + three additional workouts (any type including yoga)

Get down to one soda and one coffee per week or less

Give C25K another try (applies to cardio workout goal above)

Misc Goals and Projects

West Coast Swing lessons- aim for once a week, go at least twice a month; belly dancing lessons on Sundays

Finish rainbow quilt, blue crocheted baby blanket, and Kate’s quilt- work on similar projects at least twice a month

Scan in journals/letters/cards; finish editing pictures & deleting unwanted pics; organizing files

Update blog at least twice a week/creative writing once a week

Career and Finances

Continue to volunteer with SSI and VE & complete Community Based Development Certificate

Begin Teacher Certification program and internship in August

Try to find a part time job that works around current internships

Personal Improvement

Read one book a week/52 books in a year

Regular Spanish study- Rosetta Stone, books, Spanish Word of the Day- at least 3 times a week

No more than one hour of internet during weekdays

Travel To-Do

Montana and Yellowstone Nat’l Park


Go to at least one hot springs location

Travel to Denver and Boulder at least twice each for events or day trips

See a concert at Red Rocks

Travel to Texas at end of HP contract for an extended amount of time


Call all grandparents and parents at least once a month/ Send more mail (specifically to Great Granny monthly)


A few notes: The one hour of internet daily ties into the read more books thing. I found that I have become a newshound. I can easily spend two hours a day reading BBC and NPR. While I don't want to be any less informed, I don't appreciate that way that my reading of books has been edged out a bit by my reading of news. The West Coast Swing lessons are something Bobby and I started back in Dallas- he invited to them for one of our first dates- and we both love them. Since we kind of need each other to accomplish that goal, it's on both of our lists. Speaking of Bobby, we actually sat down together and I typed up both of our lists, since a few things depended on one another- especially our travel goals. We want to make sure we fully explore this part of the world while we're living here, hence the travel to-do list. We also served as good sounding boards for one another, asking probing questions about goal ideas, getting honest feedback about realistic expectations, etc. Lastly, in regards to the food and fitness area. I am a fit person, but my cardio health is sorely lacking and as a former long distance runner this is annoying to me and I want to fix it. I tried to start C25K back in
September, but then I jinxed my hip. So here's hoping I'll be able to actually do it this time. If not, I'm giving myself a guilt free pass if I don't accomplish that goal. Biology and bones are tricky things to persuade, regardless of how much one might want to.

In addition to my goal list, I have one more thing. A theme for 2011, if you will. An overarching philosophy that I will seek to apply to my daily doings. It is two part and they go hand in hand:
1) Master my fear, or at least not let it control me (please see my
fear of flying and my fear of being eaten by bears)

2) Make decisions with confidence (please see my trepidation and back pedaling when it comes to making decisions here).

The second is born of the problem of the first. I'm afraid of making the wrong decision, so then I don't make any decision, and then I'm frustrated for not making a decision, and all that comes from my fear. This is cheesy, but yes, "master my fear" is totally a quote stolen from "The Golden Compass". And, while we're at it, here's a good quote about making decisions:

"Will considered what to do. When you choose one way out of many, all the ways you don't take are snuffed out like candles, as if they'd never existed. At the moment all Will's choices existed at once. But to keep them all in existence meant doing nothing. He had to choose, after all". - The Amber Spyglass

Too often, I operate under the false assumption that by putting off decisions I am somehow gaining by not making a wrong decision. I mean, I have so many options, but once I choose, I only have the option I chose. But, um, that's kind of the point. I'm not gaining anything by not choosing, because I'm not doing anything.

So, there you have it. I think I'll be writing a monthly post checking in with my 2011 goals, just to see how I'm doing and to be accountable.

Here's to 2011 my friends. It will be as good as we choose to make it.

No comments:

Post a Comment