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New Year's Resolutions: Dreadful Things! - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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New Year's Resolutions: Dreadful Things! [Dec. 30th, 2011|11:32 am]
Zoethe

It's that time of year when everyone gets ready to start a fresh new year by setting themselves up for failure: "I'm not going to eat sweets" or "I'm going to work out for two hours every single day" or "I'm not going to watch TV anymore." Or "I'm going to keep my house spotless every single day!"

If you are like most New Year's resolvers, you will violate your resolution within a week - quite possibly on New Year's Day itself. And then a little voice in the back of your head will be saying, "You were a loser from the very beginning of 2012." And at the end of 2012, when people are looking back and asking if anyone kept their resolutions, that little voice will be saying, "No, you were a loser!"

And we wonder why we don't feel good about ourselves.

Two years ago I decided I was done with subtractive resolutions, the kind of things that are all about sacrifice. Instead, I decided that I would make New Year's Goals, positive, definitive actions that, when accomplished, I could point at and say, "yup, I did that!" My first goal was to learn to juggle, and by the end of the year, I had learned to juggle three balls. I was ecstatic. Last year I resolved to learn to bake sourdough bread, and we have lovely bread all the time now.

Making a goal of something you want to learn is so much more positive than a resolution of self-prohibition that you have to police all year. It's happy-making!

My goal this year is to participate in Ohio's Pedal to the Point bike ride to benefit MS research. There is definitely a huge fitness component in getting ready for that ride, but it has a definitive goal, and as we are friends with people who are heavily invoved, a big fun component as well.

What's your goal for the coming year?

Crossposting from Dreamwidth now. Sigh. If LJ won't let you comment, you can comment here: http://zoethe.dreamwidth.org/788850.html?mode=reply:
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[User Picture]From: aiela
2011-12-30 04:41 pm (UTC)
My thing for 2012 is setting a new goal every month - that way if I get through the month I have something to celebrate - and if it's a habit that sticks, that's awesome. If not, there's always next month. ;)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-30 05:11 pm (UTC)
An interesting approach! I look forward to hearing how it goes.
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[User Picture]From: angela_n_hunt
2011-12-30 05:00 pm (UTC)
My two big rock goals for next year are to run and complete the LA Marathon (no, I don't care how long it takes me) and to get me and my family to Hawaii for our first ever real family vacation (and y'know, renew wedding vows with my husband while there).

I am also a big fan of NY goals. Resolutions are just so depressing.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-30 05:13 pm (UTC)
Hawaii is lovely! You will have a great time. Good goals!
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From: anonymousalex
2011-12-30 05:25 pm (UTC)
Many years ago, I took a page from my father's book and resolved to stop making new year's resolutions. It's worked out pretty well for me so far.

On the weekends, I usually go for a hike with my dogs along a local creek. Just after the new year, the path suddenly gets more crowded, but by the end of January, it's back to normal.

-Alex
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-30 05:35 pm (UTC)
Yup. People just can't keep it up.
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[User Picture]From: sacramentalist
2011-12-30 05:32 pm (UTC)
It's so true. Resolutions are usually made for self-esteem. And subtractive resolutions are usually to get rid of a personal vice/habit (over-eating, smoking) which is triggered by esteem issues. The pressure is high, and the resulting failure is shame-inducing.

I don't have any goals, yet.


Edited at 2011-12-30 05:33 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-30 05:35 pm (UTC)
It's perfectly fine not to!
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[User Picture]From: merle_
2011-12-30 05:43 pm (UTC)
"What do you want to do next year?"

"The same thing we do every year, Pinky. Try to take over the world!"
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-30 05:58 pm (UTC)
Brilliant.
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[User Picture]From: mrs_kat_tyler
2011-12-30 06:09 pm (UTC)
This is not a true New Year's Resolution because I've already begun it, but mine is to stop procrastinating on chores and telling myself that "I don't want to." The procrastinating means that our apartment is messier and less joyful to live in, and it will be horrible with a baby. The telling myself that I don't want to do the task makes it more unpleasant than the task needs to be because I'm making it out to be something Terrible. So I have resolved to look at chores more positively. I'd rather seem them as something that I do to make our apartment a clean, happy, organized home and that while chores are rarely wonderful to do, the results of them are!
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[User Picture]From: letoile82
2011-12-30 06:31 pm (UTC)
I never make resolutions exactly for that reason! This year, my goal is all about fitness and getting in shape. With 2013 looming and a vague wedding-date that year, I want to look as best I can and not just fit into a smaller wedding dress but also feel CONFIDENT in it. Like "Yeah, I make this dress look GOOD". Haha.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-30 10:31 pm (UTC)
That's an excellent goal, as long as you focus on health rather than "lose at all costs."
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[User Picture]From: phillipalden
2011-12-30 06:54 pm (UTC)
I agree with you. It's good to set goals, but "New Years Resolutions" are not my thing, either.

As a Taoist I'm supposed to be working on my spiritual goals on a daily basis. As for the other goals I have; when my brothers are no longer having health problems that require much of me - I hope to go back to my writing projects and my drums.

Although, I don't think I'm going to wait on the drums. Anytime I have a free hour I'm going to practice.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-30 10:31 pm (UTC)
Drumming is awesome.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-30 10:32 pm (UTC)
Vacations are definitely high on the goal lists!
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[User Picture]From: sammiantha
2011-12-30 07:26 pm (UTC)
2011 was the year I took up running. So a couple of running-related goals for 2012:

Run 5km in less than 30 minutes (Current best, 32:04)
Run 500km in total throughout the year (2011 total, 380km)

Two things I can't possibly fail on within the first week, because I have the whole year to work on them :)

For the past 2 years I have owned a mini indoor remote control helicopter. I am terrible at controlling it. This year I will learn to control it well enough that I can take off in the living room and fly it up two sets of stairs to land comfortably on my bedside table.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-30 10:33 pm (UTC)
I love the helicopter idea. And making the fitness goals aimed at a final number is a good plan.
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[User Picture]From: fallconsmate
2011-12-30 08:07 pm (UTC)
i dont think we grew up making resolutions. mama always said "start the new year as you want to continue" which meant start with a clean house, with people you love, and set happy goals.

my goals this coming year are to keep the house clean...which, since the ex is coming over to get stuff IN ORDER and do the heavy cleaning, is HAPPENING NOW. clear out stuff...there are two bags in the hall to go to goodwill at this very moment. hang stuff on the walls...ok, that has to wait till febuary, but its going to happen!

attainable goals. i can live with that.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-30 10:34 pm (UTC)
Good plans!
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[User Picture]From: roaming
2011-12-30 08:10 pm (UTC)
After tallying up all the ill health/hospitalizations/deaths happenings of the past year, my New Year's resolution is not to get old enough to be immobile, and have to have someone bathe me and change my diapers. To that end, I've stopped all "keep healthy" routines -- not that I had any, mind -- and am going to eat myself into an early, but satiated, coronary.

(And actually, I remember an interview some years past with a cardiologist, who said that if he could choose a way to die, he'd go with a swift coronary, rather than the lingering decline with chronic loss of faculties and body function.)

Edited at 2011-12-30 08:11 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-30 10:36 pm (UTC)
At 50-something, and starting to see heart attacks among my peers, I'm not sure I can endorse that goal. Taking up skydiving at 72, though, that I could endorse!
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[User Picture]From: call_me_harmony
2011-12-30 08:30 pm (UTC)
My major goal for the year is to get my self employment up and running so I have a stable income again.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-30 10:36 pm (UTC)
Good goal!
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[User Picture]From: kuangning
2011-12-30 10:07 pm (UTC)
I don't make resolutions as such anymore. I do have things to work on, though, and the biggest recurring thing to work on is about to fall off the to-do list: on the 7th, Paul and I will be stepping off a plane into Melbourne summer.

Things that then move up the list:

* We'll have to marry within 8 months (9 months from the time the visa was granted.)

* I need to obtain a certificate to work as a phlebotomist over there, so it's back to school I go, enrolling in a TAFE institution.

* After that, out to work as a phlebotomist and into nursing school with me -- nursing's still the first step to midwifery.

And, of course, the pure fun stuff -- swimming regularly, the occasional evening out, and furnishing our first home together. I cannot even imagine the disaster that would have to take place, to make these next few years anything less than glorious. Not necessarily easy, but glorious. :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-30 10:38 pm (UTC)
It does my heart good to read about your plans for the future.
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[User Picture]From: weirman
2011-12-30 10:59 pm (UTC)
I don't really make resolutions for New Years pretty much for the same reasons you posted. I have, however, decided that in 2012 I'm going to have more sex. Just because one should have goals.
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