I hate New Year's Resolutions. I hate the spur of the moment nature of the claims, the self-congratulation, and more than anything, I hate the high rate of failure Resolutions have. So instead, I give myself goals. The New Year might give a great opportunity to take stock, but goals can be modified or achieved at any point in the year. I wanted to write about my goals earlier this month, but I wasn't able to, and that's okay. The extra time allowed me to fine tune and reevaluate some of my goals, and now I really feel like they're all achievable. For 2010, my goals are:
1. To not smoke. At all. Ever. My TV likes to show me an ad about how 95% of people who quit smoking in the New Year will fail by the end of the year. I am making the decision every day, sometimes every five minutes, to be in that 5% who succeed. It hasn't actually been very difficult, but I take the risk of failure seriously.
2. To exercise 3 times each week. I'm not trying to run a marathon, I'm trying to quit smoking. Exercise reinforces my desire not to smoke and helps me feel in control. Obsessing about my BMI is also better than obsessing about smoking.
3. To plan. This goal is important to me. Each year I get a planner and attempt to use it all year. I think I made it to March last year. I want this year to be the year I make planning a habit. It also helps me with several of my other goals, like exercising, and to feel more in control.
4. To be concious of what I eat and drink. This goal is difficult to quantify, but so far I'm on track to make this an all-the-time habit. I am trying to be aware of my caloric intake, nutrition, and the environmental impact of what I eat. It doesn't always change my food choices drastically, but I feel like it helps.
5. To improve my finances. This goal may be more long-term than any of the others, but I really only have two "items" to work on. A negative mark to correct and a loan I would like to pay off early. This is a goal about awareness and responsibility. So far, I've still shopped, but I've also cleared two items from my credit report.
6. To write and to read. I want to write every week, even if it isn't fantastic. It's more about the exercise of writing. I'm using my blog for this goal so that my success or failure will be public. I also want to read at least 1 new(to me) book each month. I don't feel like this is a big goal, but it's really about maintaining the habits of writing and reading.
When I look at all my goals in writing, it seems a little overwhelming, but when I think about it, I can't see removing any of them. Achieving one or some of these goals will help me achieve others. They fit together in a way I really like. So far, I'm succeeding at not smoking, eating/drinking awareness, reading, finances, and planning more than at exercising and writing, but I'm still doing alright at those two. I expect that planning, exercising, and writing will be the ones I have the most difficulty maintaining. I'm planning on writing one blog entry each month about my goals so that I can stay focused all year. Hopefully all of my future "Goals" posts will be positive.
Wish me luck!
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