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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Welcome to 2009

Ugh. Resolutions. I hate the idea of new year's "resolutions". I think it is a dumb tradition where we set ourselves up for failure. "this year I resolve to do such and such every single day...blah blah blah blah." What in the world? Is this everyone's chance to be a politician for a day and fill people's ears with our empty promises? Even worse, an excuse to lie to ourselves and set standards that we know are unattainable or make promises to ourselves that we have no honest expectation of keeping? sad sad sad. On the flip side of that coin however, I do like the idea of a fresh beginning. I take it as a chance to freshen things up a bit, to re-evaluate, re-prioritize, and re-focus. In that self-evaluation we all find things that we need to work on, things we need to work at changing. However, I think that change needs to come through baby-steps, not by trying to make drastic changes all at once. You can't say "I need to lose weight, so starting Jan 1 I am going to work out for an hour every day". It doesn't happen that way. If you try it, you will burn out and quit. You have to start slow, and establish new habits that help you reach your final goal. It takes a month or so to really establish a new habit. It won't happen overnight.

I like to look at last year, see what needs to be worked on in my personal life, and use those observations to set personal goals for the new year. Instead of taking the "I will do x every day..." approach, I like to use a more-or-less approach. For example, you could say to yourself, "Last year, I did X about once a week. This year my goal is to do X more times a week." or "last year I did X 4 times a week, this year my goal is to do X fewer times a week." I am a type-A perfectionist. If I say to myself I will do x every day, and it doesn't happen on January 5th, then in my mind, the whole year is already shot. I have failed. I didn't make, so I might as well stop trying. (harsh, perhaps, and yes, my poor husband absolutely hates that about me.) Using the more-or-less approach allows me some room to miss a day or two, or "goof" without failing.

All that being said, a few personal goals for 2009 in no particular order:
  • eat out less, cook at home more
  • spend more time doing fun activities together as a family
  • spend more time in bible study (actual study vs. simply reading)
  • spend less money on personal hobbies (nobody ever said scrapbooking was cheap!)
So there it is, out there in the open for the whole world to see. Confession is good for the soul, they say (who are "they" anyway???). Friends with information are good for accountability, I say.

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