Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Magic of January

I'm not the first, nor probably the last, to blog about New Year's resolutions for 2009. But I just can't resist. I love the start of a new year, a blank slate.

Usually I start the year by reviewing last year's goals and checking off any that I've accomplished. This is almost always a disappointing exercise, because I inevitably bite off way more than I can chew. I set huge, lofty goals, imagining my perfect self with a perfect life, then setting goals intended to get me there, imagining that by the end of the year I'll be perfectly fit and toned, eating the healthiest of diets, living in a completely organized and beautifully decorated home, writing a book a month and somehow finding time to read to underprivileged children.

It all sounds perfectly sane in January. But somehow it always goes awry. I get distracted by some new kink in my life or I take up a new hobby I'd never heard of in January and the goals fall by the wayside. About June, I'm shoving them under the desk blotter and trying not to think about how little progress I've made, and by December I'm wondering if I'll ever change and knowing, deep down, that I won't. I'll always have a less-than-healthy diet, I'll always have a messy office, and I'll never stop procrastinating.

Yet, now it's January and I'm doing it again. I'm planning to declutter my entire house (this might actually happen, since I'm moving); write three books, lose five pounds (those last five stinkin' pounds!) cook healthy three nights per week and resume cycling and yoga. I'm going to get in touch with old friends. I'm going to meditate every day and volunteer my time once a week. I'm going to plant a garden and actually take care of it. That's only the tip of the iceberg.

Right this moment, I actually believe I'll do all those things. I am brimming with optimism. I haven't made it to yoga class or pumped up the bike tires, but I got a new skillet as a Christmas gift, so that’s almost cooking. And I meditated once already, and I've written at least five pages on my new book. Hope springs eternal.

But that's the magic of January.


EllenToo said...

That's the reason I've never made new resolutions -- I know I won't keep them so I don't make them.

Anonymous said...

Baby steps. I make small goals. Like write every day - but I do allow myself 1-2 days off a week. I have to watch CSI!!
The only other goal I have is too be nice to everyone. Even those who get on my nerves (and that's harder than you think!)

Gillian Layne said...

"cook healthy three nights a week." I love that! I was just at the Wal-Mart, buying groceries and stressing over what to choose when I know we eat in "shifts", with the girls gone almost every night to one school club or another. But three nights a week--I can do that!

I always get a bit mopey about not keeping resolutions, too. But maybe I'll just adjust them: keep my desk and kitchen clean, instead of the whole house, and stick with Diet Coke, instead of trying to cut cola altogether.

Great post! :)

Estella said...

I never seem to have any luck sticking with resolutions either.

kimmyl said...

Don't feel bad, I'm just now getting around to feeling good and doing what I promised I would do the first of the year. I just put my Christmas tree away today. I knoe Bad Kimmy Bad!!! LOL