So school started, then there were the High Holy Days, then my birthday, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah…and yeah, yeah, you get the idea. I have lots of excuses for why I haven’t posted in a very long time. Most of them have to do with the fact that I was much busier with a one-year-old and two college courses to teach than I thought I’d be. It’s been a lot of fun, but things are quieting down a bit now in the beginning of 2013. Which brings me to the purpose of this particular post: my issue with New Year’s resolutions.
It’s not that I have a problem with the idea of resolutions so much as what they become for most people – meaningless statements forgotten before or quickly following the end of January. Instead, I personally think that New Year’s goals are more effective. Rather than “resolving” (a very serious term which can leave you feeling defeated and guilty should you fail) to do something in the new year, one should set somewhat general, short-term goals for the new year. Having goals rather than resolutions means that any great efforts towards these goals, whether they are achieved or not, can still be recognized as some accomplishment. It also means that you can be much less specific and evaluate the progress of your goals at the end of the year in a more useful way. For example, instead of resolving to lose 30 pounds in 2013 and then feeling like a failure next January when you’ve only lost 10 or 15 pounds, set a goal of exercising more than you currently do and eating more healthfully. Then, when you’ve lost 10 pounds next January, you can say that you realistically worked towards your goal and in the process lost a few extra pounds. Of course, this is just an example based on one of the most common of all New Year’s resolutions, but it could be applied in lots of ways.
In order stay accountable, sharing these goals with someone (even if it’s just one person) is a good idea. Here are a few of my goals to keep me accountable:
1) Get outside more. As a family, we’re going to try to participate in some local weekly nature hikes. I’m hoping this will help me reconnect with nature, reduce stress, and get a bit more fit.
2) Read to my son more. We already have weekly trips to the library and I read to him often, but now that he’s understanding more (but sitting still less!), I’d like to try reading to him every day or even more than once per day.
3) Give more tzedakah. I’d like to give more of my money and time to help worthy causes. I’ve become rather cynical in the past few years, and I want to remind myself and demonstrate to my son that other people, animals, and the environment are worth our investment. I want to be proud if he does what I say and what I do.
Those are just a few of my goals. That last one’s kind of lofty, but like I said, they’re goals. It’s something to work towards and something I’ll likely set as a goal every year.
Here’s one more goal: Post here more often. I’ve got a few recipes I’ve discovered waiting in the wings, and I have some general parenting/life experiences to share that I’d love to post about in the coming days and weeks. So, let this be the first of many new posts towards one of my 2013 goals!