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The promises of a new year.

It's the seventh!  I imagine many of you made your resolutions prior to the New Year, drank and ate to excess on the Eve, and then threw yourself into high gear on the 1st to get these resolutions going.  Not me.  I mean, I did the first part -- the excessive eating and drinking, the ignoring my novel, the letting the laundry lapse.  All that good stuff.  And then I continued to do it all through the first week of the New Year.  To be perfectly fair, though, my year doesn't really end until my dear Australian friend returns home.  That drive home from the airport marks that closure.

But, he went home on the 2nd, so for the last four days I've done nothing to put any change into effect.  I told myself it's because I really didn't know what I wanted to accomplish in these coming days.  And then I'd stress myself out analyzing all the options and start to wonder what people in other cultures do, because I think Americans seem to be obsessively focused on goals and achievements.  Maybe a good one would be to learn how to relax and stop making every day one of accomplishment. 

I am awfully fond of my To-Do Lists, though.

So, speaking of lists: here are my goals for the new year, seven days late but better than 364 days after the fact!

1.  Read.  I read probably 20 books last year.  One for each month of our book club at work, a couple from another book club I was in, and probably three or four on my own.  Which, after doing the math, is more than I thought I'd picked up last year.  So, my initial goal of 50 felt a little high, but the new goal of 25 now feels too low.  So, let's ignore the numbers and just focus on the action: read more.  It really isn't that hard!  Plus, my husband gifted me a Kindle for Christmas, so now there is no bulky hardcover to haul around.  I will say this, though, for this category: This is the year we're reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell, self.  You've had that book on your shelf for years and look at it fondly, but you never get past the third chapter.  THIS IS THE YEAR.

Also, I have a tiny book club with two friends and reading is something we can be doing together, despite the distance.  :)

2.  40 pounds.  This is a number I am focusing on.  "Lose weight" is too vague for me.  I suppose I managed last year, ending the year with a net loss of roughly 25 pounds.  I gained back some during the holidays, enough to make some of my new favorite shirts not fit as nicely, but I have a plan in place.  At work we've started a "Biggest Loser."  There are no crazy challenges or teams or anything.  It's basically weighing in and then, at the end of 12 weeks, there's a cash prize.  Ta-da.  We do our first weigh-in this coming Monday, so I'm eager to go down this road and win some money.  ;)  Or lose some pounds.  Either way, I've won.

In this one, I'm throwing in the half-marathon we're running at work.  Training started on Tuesday and I'm woefully slow, but I did go to the doctor and get my hip checked out so I think I'm good to go there.  I'm terrified of doing this, but maybe it's a good thing to be scared once in a while.

3.  The novel.  Ah, you thought I'd forgotten about this, didn't you?  I let it rest in December, even though I wanted so badly to take my red pen to it right away.  There's a class midway through this month that deals with editing first drafts and turning them into polished copies.  I'll be taking it, whether I win the raffle and get the class for free (we find out Monday!), or I use Christmas money to enroll myself.  Also, it's exciting to note that I thought after I had this written I'd never have another idea for a full novel.. but then yesterday, there I was, minding my own business when it popped into my head!  So, I'm set for this coming November as well.  

4.  Garden.  We're uprooting this year and moving, but that doesn't mean I won't have a garden full of fresh vegetables.  And, if not from the garden, there's still the Farmer's Market.  I do love Saturday mornings, but I've found I love them more when I've gotten up and done something before 9 AM.  I want to continue living organically and make strides even further in that direction.

5.  Volunteer.  I know I'm a busy person, but I'm busy for me.  All the goals are very me-centric.  I'd like to give back to the community in some way.  This year I will be trying my hand at volunteering at our local hospice.  I got my paperwork finished before Christmas and have training in February.  It's not really something to look forward to, considering the situation, and I'll admit I'm scared.  It just feels like something I need to follow through on, since seeing the bill posted at Starbucks.  

And that's that.  I will be doing other things throughout the year -- mostly advancing my knitting, if only because it keeps my hands busy and me feeling a little more productive if we have the television on, but that isn't really a goal.  If I can knit more than a simple scarf by year's end, then great!  If not, that's okay, too.  I wanted to set a goal to write on here more often, but I'm not sure that's important, either.  

I'll also be getting rid of things.  Stripping my life down to essentials and not keeping things for 20 years out of guilt.  It's essential for the move and it's probably time.  But this isn't really a resolution since I've been moving towards that since November, and there's really no goal.  I won't be the person with just a backpack and a laptop, but I don't need to be the person with boxes and boxes of high school mementos.

As long as I end this year at least as physically and emotionally happy as I am now, whether I've read 100 books or grown a prize winning cucumber, I'll consider it a success.  

Good luck on your resolutions!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 11th, 2011 05:50 am (UTC)
I had a very slow start with Jonathan Strange and almost gave up on it several times. I think I was expecting an "adult" Harry Potter, which it most certainly is not (in a very, very good way). Don't give up on it. After about 100 or so pages I was speeding right along, and I still count it among my favorite books ever. Utterly engrossing and utterly fantastic. I think it just takes a while to click. ;)
Jan. 12th, 2011 11:41 pm (UTC)
Moving?! Details!

Your goals all sound lovely and remind me how much I'd like to set similar goals but seem paralyzed by being so busy to do just that. Sigh.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )