While this New Year’s Eve I have a legitimate reason for staying in (she types as she knocks back some more Buckley’s), I have a pretty sad track record for the usual festivities of this day. That means that I have developed my own special tradition for New Year’s Eve: revisiting my old resolutions, seeing how well I stuck to them, and using them as a template for my new resolutions. This is usually a pretty depressing exercise as I, like most people I think, quickly forget all the champagne-fuelled promises that I made to myself and then continue the year without much self-improvement.
I am proud to say, however, that I decided from the start to make 2012 different. This past January, I not only took the time to type out my resolutions, but I taped them into the diary I was using at the time and then marked the page with a sticky tab for easy reference (which of course I haven’t since I finished that particular diary in March). I’m all set here with my orange juice, my cough drops and my old diary, so I’mma dive in and see how I did with my 2012 resolutions.
Resolution #1: I will be more positive. Check! I have spent 2012 consciously thinking happier thoughts (mainly about myself, as my inner voice can be a real bitch) as well as taking the time to find an inspiring quote to start every diary entry I write. Well done! Resolution #2: I will be more involved in the community and start building myself a career network. Check! Though maybe my community involvement isn’t quite what I had in mind when I made the resolution, I did volunteer all summer as a DJ, bringing music and news to our local Francophone community. And I did add a few new contacts to my career network by participating in a Leadership seminar, as well as working with a career counsellor. Two for two so far :)
Resolution #3: I will be financially responsible and independent. I call this one half done. When I made the resolution, I was dreaming of suddenly going from broke to I’m-sorry-I-only-have-Hundreds rich, which obviously didn’t happen for me. But I’m not unemployed this year, and I’ve almost paid off all of my debt, and I have more than a month’s worth of pay just earning interest in an actual savings account. I would call this a full-out win except I still didn’t manage to move back out of my parents’ house this year. I think I smell a 2013 resolution…
Resolution #4: I will watch less TV, play less World of Warcraft, and spend more time reading. Check! I quit gaming for a few months actually, and only recently got back into it, but for a fraction of the time I used to waste. I still watch a lot of TV, I’ll admit, but I made an effort to follow less shows. I was a little out of control in 2011, what with the not working and sitting around the house all the time (hence the resolution). And, of course, my decision to keep track of everything I read in 2012 inspired me to start up this blog so I could write about them, so this is a win!
Resolution #5: I will watch or read more news. This one is a fail. In January I got all excited to keep this resolution and I installed like four different news apps to my iPhone. But lately my knowledge of the world around me is limited to what I catch on Jon Stewart or see on the front page of the newspaper when I get to work in the morning. This also gets to be a repeat resolution for 2013. I really have no excuse for being ignorant of what’s going on around me.
And finally –
Resolution #6: I will do at least one thing I’ve never done before. Check!! I’m so proud of myself for sticking to this one! I did a couple of new things this year, things that I specifically chose to do because I knew they would challenge me. I started a blog, for one thing. I made a bucketlist (the blog was on it!). I went to a seminar about being a better leader and purposely struck up a conversation with a complete stranger who became a valued professional contact. I boldly gave a guy my cell phone number (okay, he was sending me pretty clear vibes, but it’s still not something I would normally do) and we’ve been dating since October. And I got aggressive with my job search and sought out the help of a professional career counsellor, and I think it’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever done!
I’d say with a previous record of just basically ignoring all of my resolutions by the Spring, a year of meeting 5 out of 6 resolutions is pretty fantastic! These goals were pretty general, though, so for 2013 I think I will try setting some S.M.A.R.T. goals. A S.M.A.R.T. goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. So instead of redoing a general resolution that reads simply as “I will do at least one thing I’ve never done before”, I would maybe rewrite it for 2013 to say “I will do one new thing every month”, so now it’s measurable and a little more specific. I don’t know…I’ll read into it a little more. It’s T-Minus 100 minutes right now, and I’m dying for a cup of tea, so I’m going to take care of that and then sit here quietly with my current diary and work on some resolutions for 2013. I will leave you with a lovely and inspiring New Years quote. Here’s to a marvellous new year!!
For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
~ T.S. Eliot