Friday, April 18, 2014

When I Seem To Make Progress On Those Winter Resolutions

It seems strange to be writing about New Year's resolutions in April.  This is no cold, quiet wintry night of reflection we so often associate with resolutions, but a bright sunny, bird-twitter morning ripe with a to-do list miles long.

Still - today I found a little note, hidden in the piles of papers that has become my desk of late (sigh).  It's what you might call a chicken-scratch list of goals for 2014.  And, lo and behold, I crossed one off.  Just like that.  And I'm pretty darn close to crossing off a few more, too.

This, you must understand, is a Big Deal.  I don't think I've ever crossed off a goal from a New Year's resolution list (probably because I've never unearthed the list again in time to do any kind of follow-up.  My bad).  And certainly not with as much flourish as I mustered today.  Huzzah!

Do I know why this year's different?  (other than the fact, of course, that I actually found the list inside the same year I made it.)  I do, actually.  After reading Anne's post about changing the focus from the outcome of the goal to the process, I made intentional goals about process.  What would I do or change or be in concrete terms, rather than notes about where I would end up. Apparently, that's made all the difference.

So. Here's an update: 2014 Goals.

1. Read more books / make a list every month.
I haven't been terribly great at the list, but I'm certainly using Goodreads more.  And attending a monthly bookclub. And have read more books more regularly since I finished grad school.  Also - I'm more excited about reading than I've been in a long time.  I'm reading not just for escape, but for encouragement, knowledge, and new ideas.

2. Do a Whole 30.
Done and done. Whew.  And you know, it's made a difference.  In a lot of ways.

3. Learn Dutch.
The impetus for this (of course?) was an almost insatiable desire to be in Amsterdam this summer.  I don't think that's happening (though we were this close to making it so).  Still - a worthy ambition and one I've still got 8 months to pursue.

4. Be a cyclist / complete a 50 mile ride.
I'm getting there.  We've done 10 and 12 and 15 and 17 and 21 and 25.6. It's just a matter of time.  My plan was to get in that 50 mile ride by the end of May.  I feel it coming on.

5. Purge / Finish all the projects.
This plan, of them all, is the most idealistic.  Sure, I know it's likely not possible, but I am not yet convinced that it is impossible.  And yes, it certainly leaves itself open to a lot of interpretation (including adding items not accounted for January 1, 2014 and crossing off items not initially on the list - either because "it just came up" or "it feels good to cross things off lists").  But I aspire, nonetheless.

So you see?  The results are there.  It's just that I've been focusing on the process - which means, in what seems to be the most natural thing in the world, that I'm actually making progress.  For reals (minus the items I've added to the projects list just so they can be crossed off, of course).

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