I'm not fond of setting New Year's resolutions. Not because I'm not a fan of change—I am. But because I know myself. I tend to pick resolutions that are either too grandiose or too vague, and then I fail, and then I feel guilty for failing. And as I don't need yet another thing to feel needlessly guilty about, I decided a couple of years ago to just skip the resolutions thing and move forward with life.
I've been thinking about resolutions, though, quite a bit lately. Ever since I made this layout:
for the WCS January gallery. (You can read all the journaling HERE if you want.) I don't know if it's contemporary or pathetic of me to have a Costco-inspired ah-ha moment, but that's really how it worked out. I had my Christmas cards printed at Costco, and they throw in a handful of those calendars. Plus I ordered a few extra. They ended up on the messy pile that was my scrapbooking table after Christmas, and when I conquered that mess I was left with the little stack of calendars. It became an image I kept coming back to, all day, in my imagination. Looking at them in that format—all the days to fill with something during 2012—sparked something in me. A desire to not let time simply pass while I whine about not yet doing what I want to do with my life. But to be decisive and determined and to find that surety I used to have about myself—to stop letting my fears get in my way. Avoiding resolutions because I know I will fail and then beat myself up over the failures? It does show me that I know myself well. But it also tells me that I am, simply, afraid.
And I'm too old to be afraid!
Still. This year, I'm not looking at my goals as resolutions. Instead, they are solutions. And the overarching thing I'm trying to solve isn't losing ten pounds or being a better mom or pushing my writing career. Instead it's about overcoming fear and conquering my tendency for self flagellation. And it's about putting into shape all the nebulous hopes and desires bumping around in my heart.
So! Here they are, my 2012 solutions, grouped into topics because of that non-nebulous aspiration thing:
- Don't skip, postpone, or otherwise miss any monthly special nights with the kids. (I sucked at this last year.)
- Spend more one-on-one time with each of them (this is purposefully vague as some of my children do read my blog, and I want some things to be a surprise)
- Plan one date night per month with Kendell (I tend to wait around for him to plan them and then get annoyed when he doesn't)
- Two family nights per month (one of my biggest LDS fails: just how rarely I actually manage family night. If I decided to do it every week I'd get overwhelmed and continue doing them on a spotty basis; twice a month feels like a good baby step)
- Reach out to my friends, my sisters, and my mom more often (translation: try to ask for help more, or call up just to talk, or share something that is bothering me instead of staying closed up tight)
- Send a card, photos, note, or little thinking-of-you kind of gift twice a month to someone (this could also be classified in the "help the Post Office survive" category!)
- Only read religion-based books on Sundays
- Fast on every fast Sunday
- Start writing in my scripture journal again
- Write every day in some form.
- Finish one story and/or essay per month
- Finish three poems per month
- Submit the previous month's finished work at least three times
- Renew my Writer's Digest and Poets and Writers subscriptions
- Start the novel. Just start it.
- Find a writing group.
- Follow up on my blog ideas with more regularity
- Through spring, my weekly goals: go to Spin classes with Haley three times, run twice, and attend the sculpting classes at the gym twice
- Prepare for Ragnar starting in March.
- Summer: one half-marathon in July, August, September, and October. One 16-18 mile run per month.
- Run 500 miles this year.
Service to Others:
- Donate blood once every quarter
- Coordinate some secret service project with my kids once a quarter
- Scrapbooking: buy less, make more. (I will write about this more.) Try to figure out how to fit it into my life without letting it consume all of my creative energy. (also another blog post.)
- Quilting: finish Kaleb's dinosaur quilt; finish my pink table cloth; make a table runner and two table toppers for the downstairs furniture; make a new table runner to go under my little Christmas tree
- Photography: Jump on the 12 on the 12th bandwagon; take a monthly family photo
- Reading: spend less time putzing around on the Internet and more time reading actual books; write about them with more frequency but perhaps less detail
My last goal is to hold myself accountable, which means I'm going to check in on my solutions once a month to see how I'm doing. Feel free to skip those blog posts!