I love opportunities to make declarations, so I always propose new years resolutions. My commitment to them varies, but my success tends to be low. In the end, I usually decide that I didn't really want to follow my resolution anyhow. I was thinking about this problem, and I think one hopeful formula is to treat oneself more like a country.
If crime is a problem, you don't say, "We will eliminate crime this year." You define measurable criteria, and set a mid-way goal, like cutting violent incidents by 25%. The Millennium Development Goals are prime examples of this.
While I believe that people can change quickly and completely, the reason it doesn't happen is often because you realize that you don't really want to upend every aspect of your lifestyle. I want to exercise more, but the sporadicness of my current exercise isn't just that I don't like it much. It's because my lifestyle involves working intensely on other things, and when I try to resolve to impose improvements, they turn out to be unexpectedly disruptive to things I don't want to change.
So, I want to try mid-way, measurable goals, so that by next year I can decide, if I fail, if the goal was too ambitious, and if I succeed, if further improvements are desirable (or even easier from the new standpoint).
This is all to preface my modest new years resolutions:
- To post twice a month:
- Mostly aimed at LJ or my professional page, but any substantive public writing will do.
- To read 50 non-required pages a week:
- Easily done when requirements are light, but reading is often the first thing to be dropped when stress is high, and I think it's a poor choice.
- Two hours of physical practice a week:
- Exercise, dance, and music are all acceptable.
- Twenty minutes of sacred rest per weekend:
- A meditative state, with no work allowed.
- Get my driver's license:
- This summer!
- Publish one paper:
- Or at least get it accepted for publication.
I need to figure out a place to record my progress. What are your new years resolutions?