I’m sure within less than a week (or maybe two for the more dedicated ones) your New Years Resolutions went out the window. Honestly, most of mine did. While I’m disappointed, I’m not squirreled away overly indulging in ice cream…well, not at the moment. It happens. And the great thing about resolutions is that you can try, try again. I still think that it’s a good idea to set goals. Even if we don’t achieve them in the time that we’d like, we’re still moving forward and persevering.
I often struggle with the lack of motivation. Even though I wish I could always attribute that to my menses, I know that day-to-day the hardships and inconveniences that happen in life makes it easy for you to worry too much about a resolution list. I’m hopeful, usually. And I believe that considering how realistic and attainable my goals are, it’s only a matter of time before I’m back on the wagon. It’s so easy to make excuses. Similarly to the Charlie Peacock lyrics of In the Light, “I am the [queen] of excuses, I have one for every selfish thing I do.” It is rather selfish of me to ignoring things of self-improvement.
This year my resolutions included similar things that are on most people’s list. This year I had a manageable list of 5 items. And while the year isn’t over, I realize that in some instances it’ll be a mad dash to the end. I have yet to follow my own advice. As I wrote earlier this year, it’s important to keep things in perspective. Right now the lack of completing any of my goals has only added to my stress. There are so many things to do even if, as they say, you eat an elephant one bite at a time. I’m always thinking about the next bite and looking at just how truly daunting it can all be.
The funny thing is that my resolutions involved a way to alleviate some of my stress. Let me break it down for you. Resolution number one was to read at least 12 books for the year. Two, complete baby step one and start on baby step two on the Dave Ramsey debt-free plan. Three, exercise thirty minutes at least three times a week and lose ten pounds. Four, publish a book of all my poems. Lastly, work on my codependency issues.
I still don’t understand why it’s so hard for us to make the priorities in life true priorities. Last year my twelve books goal was surpassed with fifteen. This year I’ve only read three. Goodreads.com, where I track all the books I’m reading and plan to read says that at my current pace I’m four books behind. I’ve been ‘reading’ two books for the past several months. I am still optimistic that I’ll be able to reach my goal so I’m not giving up.
I’ve also recently written about the importance of being debt-free. Just yesterday we were informed that we were in line for more budget cuts at work. That weighs heavily on me as we try to make things work despite having fewer resources to do so. As a side note, there is fast becoming fewer public libraries in the state due to the drastic budget cuts. A librarian acquaintance of mine even commented on the dire state of libraries. She states, “we serve the poor, the old, the young, the disenfranchised, therefore — no one cares.” I only wonder, as libraries struggle to survive financially, what would happen if I was without a job.
Like so many I live paycheck to paycheck. I live above my means. I use credit to supplement my income and waste that money on things I don’t necessarily need or can even remember. I had been diligent in earlier months in putting away money, but as a compulsive shopper who buys things when I’m depressed, there is now no money saved. This is certainly a resolution that I must work on immediately. We live in the state that leads the nation in bank failures and as of June, home foreclosures. If one thing falls out of place I too can be in the financial situation so many others are in. How about you?
As for exercise, it’s really bad that I have not committed to this more. I even purchased a fancy treadmill that now collects dust and resides in the living room. Exercise has been proven to reduce stress and provide a number of benefits physically and mentally. However, I get home and walk right past it, trying not to look at it as if it were looking at me disapprovingly. So much for losing that ten pounds I’d resolved to.
Then there’s my desire to be a published book author. I already have all the material as well as the title. I’d even hoped to give the poetry books as Christmas gifts. However, with so many other projects that I have to do the ones that I want to do are left by the wayside. I haven’t even been able to work on the novel I’d also hoped to complete this year.
Lastly, there are my codependency issues. Those are a lot on their own. Add that to the other things I’d hoped to do and I can’t help but to feel a bit bruised and inadequate. However, I’m not broken and I’m still looking forward to seeing if I have more than a Hail Mary pass left in me. It’s like I’ve said, Rome wasn’t built in a day, the best thing about New Years resolutions is that while nothing ever really goes as planned, tomorrow is another day.
This article appeared on page 5A in the 8/8/12 issue of The Union-Recorder.