05 January 2007

Restraint and Joy

Back to reality… Last night I returned from my holiday visit with my family and this morning started a whole new routine. I began the day with a painful hour with a personal trainer and spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking and cleaning on my fabric and yarn stashes. Ironically, this day of restraint was somewhat refreshing after two weeks of pure gluttony. Now don’t get me wrong, I sure enjoyed that gluttony and all its sugar cookies and shopping trips, but it’s time to get back to business.

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions. I’m terribly excited to get going on all my new schemes but suffer from the pandemic of Broken Resolutionitis. The goals are too high, the rules too strict. I once had a professor tell us to make “Goals” rather than “Resolutions.” Goals take into account the struggle that comes with reform and that there will be slip-ups along the way to change.

And that’s the key… change. 2006 was a good year overall, but I really hope that 2007 can be better.

So with that in mind, these are the 2007 Goals:

Improve my Health
1. Go to a personal trainer once a week and exercise on my own during the week.
2. Bring athletic activities such as biking, swimming and hiking into my regular routine.
3. Devote time to regular meal planning and cooking.

Improve my Intellect
1. Work on my dissertation at least one hour a day.
2. Increase my professional activity with conference attendance and submissions to journals.
3. Read twelve non-dissertation books.

Improve my Domestic Life
1. Avoid yarn and fabric purchases and minimize other expenses as much as possible.
2. Throw away or donate one item to charity every day.
3. Complete one cleaning or organizing task a day, i.e. clean out a drawer or cabinet or tackle mopping, bathroom duties, etc. or take on a scrapbook page or go through a set of files.

Improve my Overall Life
Search for happiness in every day, opening my eyes to new opportunities for joy wherever possible.

That last one is the big goal of the year: to increase joy. All the areas of restraint are in the service of freeing myself to have more time and money for the things that I really want to pursue. While it may not seem like cutting back on expenses or cookies will lead to joy, I really believe that in the long run it will. I know some of these goals will be difficult, but maybe by the end of the year I'll be able to knit up my stash of sock yarn while dictacting my dissertation as I run on the treadmill.

And now time for more Tylenol to free myself from the pain of an hour of lunges and bicep curls.

Bring on 2007!

1 comment:

Lone Knitter said...

Throw away something or give something to charity everyday. I like that one. I need to declutter!