I haven’t made a lot of New Years resolutions in my life (at least not any that I felt especially gung-ho about or beat myself up over if I wasn’t able to complete them). My mindset has changed in that, instead of asking myself what I need to change, I’m going to ask myself what I’d like to do or accomplish in the upcoming year — and I’m hoping the other stuff will fall into place by itself. For instance, if I want to improve my body and overall fitness level in 2008, I’ll focus on specific things I’d like to do instead of saying something ambiguous like “I want to be stronger and faster.”
If you want to make a resolution that you plan on sticking to, it’s helpful to make it measurable in some way if you really want to hold yourself accountable. Instead of saying something ambiguous like, “I want to improve my fitness level,” a more specific goal would be, “Purchase a bicycle and start riding regularly.” Or if you want to be even more specific, “Purchase a bicycle and ride at least twice per week for at least 30 minutes.” See the difference? I could buy a bike and then end up telling myself that “riding regularly” meant I would do so at least once per month. If you want to drink more water, write down a set amount of ounces you want to consume (or number of times you’ll refill your water bottle) per day.
Since I’ve been working on my 101 Things this year, I’ve found that having specific goals (and so many to choose from) helps me challenge myself to try new things that I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise — and I really like that.
My resolution for 2008 is to complete at least 48 tasks from my 101 Things list.
That’s 4 per month, and if I don’t get to 4 one month, I’ll just have to add more in subsequent months to make it to 48 by the end of the year. I completed 39 things in 2007, so this will be stepping it up a bit. I need to do 3 per month anyway to stay on track, so doing at least 4 per month will take care of a big chunk of the list.
I feel that making this one resolution is sufficient because the things I have on my 101 Things list include some that I would have wanted to put on a more comprehensive resolutions list anyway. (Examples from my list — #11: do at least 1 unassisted pull-up; #87: take a class that features something I’ve never done before; #91: take a photo every day for a month.)
There are a few things on the list that are currently ambiguous, and they’ll end up being more specific once I actually get to them. Like #65: go on a non-leisurely bike ride. I’m planning to purchase a bicycle soon, and I know I’ll be using it for exercise purposes, so this task will be easy to accomplish once I actually go and pick one out. I don’t feel like I need to make a specific public riding goal, because I know I’ll use it regularly once I get it.
Happy 2008, everyone!