I'm not a big fan of New Year's resolutions. I'm all for constant goal-setting and planning for the future (as absolutely anyone who knows me can attest), but connecting it to the turn of the calendar seems arbitrary and thus especially difficult to uphold. While some find ways to make resolutions practical and manageable - Suze Orman does this well for the January 2012 O - I and others find them to mostly highlight deficiencies and add unnecessary weight to very human shoulders.
May I make an alternate suggestion? Instead of deciding now who to be next year, take the opportunity to take stock of the year almost-past. Record accomplishments, surprises, progress and moments of joy. I did this for the first time this year and a few things happened. I remembered special moments from 2011 that otherwise might have remained buried in my mind, stuck under current to-do lists and plans. I replaced that nagging fear of remaining stagnant for just a little while with pride in what I was able to get out and do in 365 days. I got even more excited about ongoing projects after reviewing where they started and where I/we want them to go.
My list includes everything from paying off a large chunk of debt to securing my first freelance writing gig to getting my first tattoo. I limited myself to 10 items (okay, later I added a bonus #11) so that I wouldn't pressure myself to think of everything. I tried to vary the areas of my life to which each item applied so that my list was well-rounded (e.g. was not skewed to mostly professional changes and milestones). And I wrote the whole thing in a sketchbook with many colored pens so that the list itself is as vibrant as the experiences it references.
What's on your list for 2011?
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