Much like my love of Thanksgiving, I appreciate New Year's Day for what it represents. I'm a very goal-oriented person, so I love the idea that January 1st inspires so many people to set goals for themselves. I loved seeing so many people out for a run or a walk today, and wondered if it was the beginning of an exercise regime. My bravest of facebook friends and family members were posting their resolutions as their statuses throughout the day. It takes courage to publicly declare a goal, but they are also more likely to be successful, as that is one of the major steps towards achievement. Kegan and I have been talking a lot lately about his resolution to lose a few pounds. I'm thankful that New Year's Day inspires so many people to formulate plans to achieve their goals.
Anyone in the self-help field decries the belief that you have to wait until the beginning of a year, month or week to start working towards a goal. They often say it's a delay tactic-- that you should start to diet or exercise, should stop hoarding or eating chalk (have you SEEN "My Strange Addiction"?!) as soon as you recognize that it's a need. It doesn't matter if it's a Tuesday or the middle of the week--- just make a plan and start living it. Don't wait. I agree with this. But I can't help but see the energizing nature of a Monday, or the 1st of the month, or New Year's Day-- the ultimate beginning-- to jump start goal achievement.
Despite how much I love the idea of resolutions, I don't actually have one for myself this year. I have so many goals it's hard to settle on just one. Instead, I'm taking a note from 168 Hours, the book I read last year regarding time management. In it the author, Laura Vanderkam, posits that people don't spend their time well because they don't know what to spend their time on. To rectify this she suggests people make a list of 100 dreams for their life. Anything can go on that list- from personal and professional goals, to places you want to travel to, books you want to read, experiences you want to have, foods you want to try, hobbies you want to take on-- and you can go beyond 100. Vanderkam pushes you to brainstorm a high number so that you do not limit yourself. Once you've written a list, start using your time to work towards achieving these goals, and build a life that reflects your ideal. I made a list this past summer, and will spend this year, and all my years, realizing these dreams and adding additions.
A happy and healthy 2012 to all!