So, I was checking a blog that I read frequently, and the author was talking about New Year’s resolutions.  She has a good point in her post (that you might want to consider a resolution that has a benefit to others) but I disagree with the fact that she refers to goals like “lose weight” and “exercise more” as “depressingly self-serving”.  I would agree that these are  goals that are made very frequently and seldom fulfilled, but I would hardly call them depressing.  If you want to exercise more or lose weight (provided you are not going below a healthy weight), you’ll probably feel pretty good about it and have a good year if you succeed.

Anyhow, this made me think about my New Year’s resolutions for 2013.  I admit that I haven’t made resolutions for many years, because I’ve never been good at sticking with them.  But last year I read about an idea to make general goals instead of specific resolutions – things like “run more” or “eat out less”.  It’s weird – I know that these sound so general that they would be useless, but for some reason they worked for me.  I guess that might be because I really felt I could succeed at them.  I don’t have to run 500 miles, I just need to run more than last year.  And I can probably do that.  Last year my resolutions were:

  • More weights (I wanted to do strength training along with running.)
  • Less fat (Just a little less – some of my pants didn’t fit anymore. Now they do.)
  • Better smile (This sounds corny, but it was really about taking care of my teeth.  I have developed a mild phobia of the dentist and hadn’t been taking care of things.)

I did pretty well at all three of these goals, including getting about 12 fillings at the dentist (I’m not exaggerating – it took three separate trips).  So, this year I think I’ll try the same tactic.  My goals for 2013 are:

  • Better smile (Still need some work to establish a good habit, and I have to find a new dentist since I moved.)
  • Less $ (We bought a house when we moved to new town, and I’ve gone a little crazy spending on household stuff beyond what is necessary.)
  • Letter per month (I used to write a lot of letters, but now I don’t.  I miss it.  I’m okay if these are just postcards – anything is better than my current lack of writing.)

We’ll see how I do with these goals – this is going to be a more challenging year than 2012 in many ways.  It’s okay if I fail at some of them, but I think it’s worth a try.  You’ll note that I don’t have any professional goals in that list.  I don’t think I’ve ever made any work-related goals – I’ve always been so focused when it came to my education/research/teaching that I don’t need an extra reminder to make progress in those areas.  It’s the personal stuff that I let slide if I don’t have a reason to think about it.  Anyway, I hope 2013 is a good one for you, whether you have resolutions or not.

*Edit: After thinking about my goals a bit more, “One letter per month” seems doomed to failure.  I think I’m going to go with “More letters” – I can hardly write fewer of them, so I think I’ll be successful with the new wording.