I’m newly smitten with Christine Hennessey’s blog, The New Me, in which she shares all sorts of good stuff. She and I have a lot in common: we both eat somewhere along the vegetarian spectrum (I’m a vegetarian, she’s a vegan who eats eggs occasionally), we’re both runners and cyclists, we both like to write and fancy ourselves “writers,” and we both live in east Texas. The Texas thing is kind of huge for me, as I am still searching for like-minded people who find themselves hunkering down in the Lone Star State, and it’s fun to find a kindred blogger just a click away.
Chrissy is a dedicated goal-setter, which I find fascinating. She writes lots of lists detailing her goals, her plans to reach them, and she even reviews her progress toward those goals. I admire her ambition and her honesty. If she didn’t make much progress toward a goal, she admits it. And sometimes, in extreme cases, she lets herself off the hook when she realizes that a goal she set has failed to become “her” goal. By that, I mean experience teaches her that her heart just wasn’t in it, so it’s time to let go and move on to newer and better goals.
I’ve read all the posts that fall under her goals category, and they made me want to revisit my own list of goals for the year. In January, I shared a trio of resolutions with you, and I’m happy to report that I have been working on them! It’s slow-going for me, this resolution stuff. These goals are big ones for me, so it seems reasonable that they take time to develop. Let’s see what things look like almost two months later.
* My first goal was to expand my cooking horizons with new cookbooks and recipes from friends. Of my three goals, I’ve made the most progress on this one. I’m happily cooking lots of delicious things from In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite by Melissa Clark; it’s the book on which I’m focused right now. I’ve also shared a friend-inspired recipe, the Oatmeal Shake.
* My second goal was to cultivate a more intellectual reading practice. I’ve been working on my 2011 reading list for a few weeks now. Compiling the list is tough! It’s hard for me to know when to stop adding books. To add to my indecision, I recently bought a book called The Book Club Cookbook, which is filled with suggestions for book club reading selections. I could probably read for five or ten years based off of the suggestions in that book. Nevertheless, I hope to share my list with you before the end of this month. And of course, I’ll be hitting the library to find a few items on my list. I can’t wait to sit outside on my patio, sipping a mojito and reading classic literature while a breeze tickles my skin.
* My final resolution was the hardest of all to admit: begin letting go of my anxiety. This one is really, really tough. There have been some interesting developments in my research lately, so I haven’t felt as anxious, but that could change quickly, so this resolution is still very important. One thing I am doing regularly is reminding myself that scientific discoveries are made when we take risks. Risk is inherent in the work I do in the lab. I think it’s helping a little bit for me to keep reminding myself that uncertainty is unavoidable, so I’d better get used to it. The other thing I’m going to start this week is a 40-day yoga and meditation project, which I think will be very restorative and calming. I’ll be writing more about that on my running/fitness blog, Feels Like Flying. Since I just finished a half-marathon, it’s a good time for me to work on a different aspect of my health while I recover from the half.
I’m pleasantly surprised to find that I am indeed working on these resolutions in small ways. Sometimes I set goals, but I don’t really commit to them. I suppose that makes me kind of flaky. I’d argue, however, that it takes a high degree of self-awareness to set attainable goals. For example, generally I don’t like exercising in the morning. If one of my goals was to exercise in the morning, I’m not sure it would be accomplished unless I set up exercise dates with other people. I would need a lot of outside pressure to change my habits. Likewise, it’s easier for me to spiff up my apartment if I have guests. When left to my own devices, I’m a bit messier and dirtier. But the three resolutions I’ve made for this year are things I really want to do for myself, and only one of them is a major change. I feel optimistic about what I can do with ten months to work on these challenges!
So, tell me: did you make resolutions this year? And if so, how are they going? Have you accomplished them, taken baby steps like me, or have you abandoned them in favor of your old ways?