Happy 2008 to you all! I like this time of year because it gives one pause to reflect and think about the personal improvements they would like to achieve. Resolving to be a better person - that's pretty cool if you stop to think about it. Jan 1 should be the most optimistic day of the year! For a while now, I have set what I call 'seasonal resolutions', which give you the opportunity to work on something for 3 months, and then reassess the situation. This system has a much higher rate of return than typical NYE resolutions - 1 year is just too long! I think the other key to keeping resolutions is making sure they have measurable outcomes. You can't just say you want to do something more, you need to quantify it.
That being said, here are my winter resolutions for 2008:
1. Go to the gym a minimum of 3 days a week. (Anyone who knows me well knows how much I loathe the gym, although I have belonged to the YWCA across from my house for the last 1 1/2 years. I joined and then didn't set foot inside for 11 months. I considered my monthly membership fee a donation to charity!)
2. Experience culinary tourism one weekday and one weekend day each week. (One of my passions in life is food, and I made a rule when I moved to MN that I couldn't repeat a restaurant within 3 months, so I would force myself to get out and try new things. I still have that rule, but I have fallen off the exploring wagon of late, and need to get back on or I'll go crazy!)
3. Twice a week I will leave work at 5:00 and NOT bring my computer home. (Hello, my name is Adrienne and I am a workaholic. Some days I wish I was married simply for the fact that married people at work seem to only work 8-5 - how is it that us singletons get stuck there until the wee hours? In the last 3 months there hasn't been a single day or weekend that I haven't brought my laptop home, which is after already being the last person in the office. I need to regain control of my personal life. We'll see how I do - of the 3, this will be the most challenging for me.)
Something that I think makes resolutions successful is not having too many (3 is plenty), and making sure that you have one that you will almost certainly be able to achieve, and one that will be more of a stretch goal. Resolutions should make you feel good about yourself, but at the same time, help you grow as a person.
You may have noticed that my winter resolutions are a bit selfish - damn right. I learned a very important lesson in 7th grade homeroom that you can't take care of the people you care about unless you take care of yourself first (It's just like the oxygen masks on airplanes - put yours on before helping children and senior citizens). Needless to say, I have been neglecting myself lately, and that has to stop before I can be effective in helping for the greater good. But just so you don't think I'm a total asshole, here are some of the other resolutions that I want to work on at some point in the near future. I just can't figure out how to quantify them...
- Become a mentor
- Be more green, beyond just recycling
- Be energy conscious
- Eat at restaurants/buy foods that are more organic, sustainable, seasonal and that support local producers
- Be more transparent in my personal relationships
- Keep in touch with loved ones more
- Learn to logroll (I assure you, this is not for me - this is for you, as I will have hilarious stories from this one...)
So, there is what to expect of my life in the near future. As for the past, 2007 was a pretty memorable year. I went to my first NASCAR race. I was an on-air personality on Martha Stewart's satellite radio channel. I watched an Italian opera outdoors in a 2,000 year-old Roman amphitheater. I ate my share of things on a stick at the state fair. I karaoke-d Sweet Child of Mine for the first time, and brought down the house. I discovered why you want to finish dental work before you fly, and that airlines carry controlled substances on transatlantic flights. I developed food allergies and migraines, but am slowly figuring out how to manage both. I am learning how to be less judgemental and expand my comfort zone. I have been to numerous weddings and seen the birth of babies, and am in constant awe of the lives my friends lead. My parents are in good health, and my sister has just moved to Minneapolis, which means I will see all of them more often. I am a very lucky person.
I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. Do something amazing with it.