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04 January 2011

Is it too late to make some New Years' Resolutions?

Like most of the world, I make New Years' resolutions every year. And, like most of the world, I break them by the end of January. I really do love the idea of New Years' resolutions. I like the possibility and promise of becoming better in the future. I don't think of it as starting over because, honestly, I'm pretty damn happy where I am now. But I do know that I can be a better "me" in many capacities. And that is why I love to make resolutions. Of course, I don't beat myself up too badly when I fail at them. I take them seriously, but, like I said, I'm happy with my current situation. Improvement is always a good thing, but it isn't required for my complete happiness. I feel lucky and blessed in that respect.

But, of course, this year is no different. I am making a few New Years' resolutions. Of course, I'm making them about five days late. New Year's Eve and this past weekend has been too hectic to really formulate and structure any real resolutions. The ideas have been churning in my head, and now it is time to write them down and share them with the world.

Here are my ambitious goals for 2011:

- Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. I read an article that said that the best thing you can do for your health is to get enough rest. It is more important than diet, exercise, and everything else. Getting enough rest (and, yes, "enough" is indeed qualified as 8 hours) makes us happier, healthier, more productive, and just an all-around better person. Anyone who knows me well can attest to how much I value sleep. Sadly, I rarely get enough. I'm usually in bed between 11 and midnight and up by 6. Even by my bad math, that's not 8 hours. I've already found that if I am in bed by 10:15 and asleep by 11, I am far more happy during the next day. That's still not my full 8, but I've gotta start somewhere.

- Exercise at least three times weekly. This seems simple enough, but it's a little known fact that I HATE to exercise. Actually, my body doesn't sweat properly, so exercise makes me hot and uncomfortable. I don't cool myself properly. But that's still an excuse. Q's Momma and I are already planning to walk the SAS trails at least three times a week after school. This should help. To help myself be accountable, I've also instituted a new feature on the ol' blog (as you can see here). The tracking program that I use to record my exercise allows me to embed maps and stats into my blog. Hopefully this will help me to feel more responsible for actually getting up off my butt and doing something.

- Be easier to love. This sounds pretty abstract and odd, but it's true. I want to be easier to love by all those around me. I'm not saying that I want everyone that I encounter to adore me, but I want those who already "love" me (to whatever degree) to have an easier job. This means that I'm going to work to be more patient with myself and my loved ones. I'm going to strive to be more kind and compassionate, even when I'm having bad days. I'm going to try to be more understanding of differences and less judgmental of what I perceive as faults and flaws. I'm going to put others before me instead of in a close second or third place. I'm hoping that this will improve my relationships with my parents, my siblings, my boyfriend, my girlfriends, my colleagues ... everyone. I don't expect adoration and worship, but I don't think that those around me should have to work so hard to see why they chose me as a friend.

- Complete three chapters of my dissertation. I'm setting the bar low on this one because it is the thing I dread the most in the world. Seriously. The whole thing has to be five chapters, so I'm hoping I can bang out at least three in the next 12 months. Ugh. FYI ... This one is going to be the hardest.

- Make time for my photography. I love taking photographs, but I rarely MAKE time to do so. It usually only happens while on vacation or when something else is going on. I want to make time each week and photograph. Record the world around my in all its beauty and quirkiness and grace.

- Watch less TV.  I've tried giving up TV completely before, and that is never successful. But, giving up TV before 8pm is much easier. Besides, there is nothing good in TV before 8pm anyway (except reality show reruns which I seem to be moderately addicted to!). Keeping the Mind Suck off until 8pm gives me enough time to exercise, work on my dissertation, blog, read, clean the house, and do whatever else needs to be done on any given day. Besides, waiting until at least 8pm to watch TV provides me with a little incentive to get all my "chores" done.

Six goals to accomplish in 12 months. Can she do it? Yes, she can!
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