One of my many goals for 2009 was that I was going to read a minimum of 52 books. I came up with that arbitrary number after reading 50 books in 2008 and I figured I’d just tack on a couple more this year. And then real life happened, and after reading some 30 books, I just stopped reading. I didn’t worry about it too much because I knew it was just a phase and I’d get into reading again soon enough, but still, some part of me feels like a failure now because I slacked off instead of rising to the challenge. But then I had to remind myself that 30 books is still a very decent amount.
Now with 2010 just a few hours away, the temptation is strong to start making a great big list of all the things I want to accomplish so I can get better and stronger this year. If I were to make such a list, it might look something like this:
1. Do yoga every day (10 minutes to 1½ hours), twice a day when possible.
2. Lose 20 lbs and keep it off
3. Become a morning person
4. Make bed every day
5. Keep house tidy and dust-free at all times
6. Start cooking every day
7. Eat less sugar and sweets
8. Go run outside or at the gym a minimum of 45 minutes 3 times/week
9. Repaint the apartment
10. Schedule activities every day of the week
11. Paint and draw every day
12. Write (blog & fiction) every day
13. Floss every day
14. Get to bed by 11:30 and up by 8 every day (including weekends)
15. Stop procrastinating
16. Establish a schedule and stick to it at all times no matter what.
17. Establish a budget and stick to it at all times no matter what.
18. Set up social activities at least 3 times/week
19. Make a one month plan
20. Make a 6 month plan
21. Make a one year plan
22. And so on
23. Pay cash, don’t use credit
24. Do volunteering work every week
25 Be on time for everything no matter what
26. Go to the market to buy fresh food several times/week
27. Change cat litter every week
28. Read 50+ books
29. Read the news every day
30. Go to concerts and events every month
31. Visit museum every month or two
32. Use my cookbooks several times/week
33. Read all my art books
34. Vacuum and wash floors twice/week
35. Watch 1 hour of TV per day MAX
36. Go dancing once a month
37. Meet and mingle with people every week
38. Be optimistic
39. Stop negative self-chatter
40. Pay off loans in record time
41. Travel to visit family & friends around the globe
42. Save $$$ for various projects including retirement
43. Stop shopping to fill the void
44. Meditate every day
45. Declutter at every change of season
46. Take salt baths every week
47. Go hiking every week (from spring to fall)
48. Do breathing exercises several times/day
49. Stop sleeping in even when I feel terrible and/or sick
50. Embrace the future and plan next career move
Anyone looking at this list might think it’s a great plan. And it is, but I know better now. Every one of those items poses a huge challenge over the long term. Some of them pose a huge challenge over the short term too for that matter. I know for sure that if I was doing all these things, I’d probably be a different person. A much happier, functional and productive person. Just the kind of person I’d like to become someday. But FIFTY resolutions might be a bit much. And expecting absolute, rigorous adherence to the resolutions might not be helpful either. So say I narrow it down to ten. Or just three, and just focus on doing my best without judging myself? That sounds reasonable. But then what about all the other items on the list? Do I just ignore them for now? They’re ALL very important aren’t they? What if I just made ONE resolution: be more disciplined. That sounds pretty clever. But then what happens when I break that resolution? Because I already know I will…
Nope, resolutions are not the way to go this year. All I know is I have to work on a schedule and a budget and then I need to do my best to adhere to those and/or adjust them as needed so they become helpful tools as opposed to limiting and boring. That in itself is a long-term challenge, and I think it’s something I want to commit to. As for the rest… well I guess it’ll all fall into place when the timing is right.
As far as ringing in the New Year tonight, I have several options open. But then again, I got an 80 minute massage today—my body feels more relaxed than ever—but I’m just zonked. I opened a bottle of white Chateauneuf du Pape for just moi and have enjoyed a glass so far with a piece of delicious cold mushroom quiche from this great bakery on Victoria street. I think more than ever tonight, I just want to feel at peace with life. And to be honest, I can’t think of a better place to find that peace than right here at home. I should make an effort I guess. There’s a part of me that’s a little bit superstitious and thinks that how I spend New Year’s eve will determine how the whole year will go, and I do know for sure that I don’t want to spend the whole year alone. But for tonight, I think I’ll just count my blessings. That should keep me busy for a while, because I am very lucky in many many ways, and goodness knows I’ve got plenty to be grateful for.
Amen to that.
Happy New Year to you all! :-)