New Year's "Resolutions"

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

A Taiwanese girl asked me what the difference between a wish and a resolution was today, and I didn't know exactly how to answer. I ended up telling her that a wish is something that doesn't necessarily come to fruition, whereas a resolution is something that you work to achieve. I hope I was right.

I haven't really made any real New Year's resolutions in a few years, not because I don't believe in them, but because they've been virtually the same every year since I can remember. In fact, I wouldn't be all that surprised if you took a survey of 50 women and found that over 2/3rds of the women had at least 2 or 3 of the same resolutions.

In the past, I've had some pretty funny "resolutions" (or projects, as I sometimes call them): watch an entire season of "American Idol" (done), think positively (that helped, and worked), find a different lyric to describe each day (done), not drink coffee for an entire year (done). Last year, I said I would try to finish the entire "Harry Potter" series, window shop less, learn Spanish, stop waiting for people, and (unofficially) complete the Rubik's cube. I did none of those things. That doesn't make me feel particularly optimistic about my goals for this year.

I think that overall, whenever you want something, it's easier to find tenable markers towards that something rather than some ephemeral, nebulous something. That way you can keep tabs on yourself and watch as you improve or progress towards that goal.

Anyway, all my "resolutions" this year are tenable things:
- I want to visit Australia and New Zealand (or at least before I leave Taiwan for good I want to)
- I want to finish the first drafts of two story ideas I've carried with me for awhile (one is nearly 5 years old, the other, nearly one)
- Finish the "Harry Potter" series!!!
- I'd like to finally finish reading "White Teeth" by Zadie Smith before leaving Taiwan, whenever that is. I've been reading this novel on and off since the year it was published (2000?), and I've never been able to finish it. I don't think I've even reached the middle of the novel with all my reads, but I will get there!
- Take the GRE (if I go home in December, I'll probably do it then)
- Tweet more, if possible (harder here because I don't have a phone with a data plan, so I'm limited to tweeting from a computer)
- Make an effort to read more, especially the news

... and less concrete goals:
- Decide what my next step in life is going to be
- Write blog entries that are more meaningful

... last, but not least, the usual:
- Eat healthier (more fruits, less junk food)
- Exercise at least 3xs a week ... (I have a feeling that this is not going to happen unless I sign up for a gym, which I don't want to do because it's too expensive)
- Try to be more positive (this actually wasn't a goal of mine last year, but lately I've been letting things I have no control over bother me, and I need to let those things go)

I feel that this year, more than ever, my goals are probably too much for me to accomplish in a year, but I would really like to at least try. There's no harm in trying ... except I never really believed that phrase!

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