Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 New Year's Resolutions

It is almost the end of the year 2010, I still remember how far in the future twenty-ten seemed when I was a kid. And now, here I am, living in the future. Things that were science fiction when I was 10 are now in common use in some form or another. This fact often amazes me and brings me joy. I live in the age of the internet and communicators (cell phones). Not to mention the many medical marvels that have developed, sometimes even by accident.

This is traditionally the time of year that people move from giving thanks for what they have to reflecting about the changes they would like to make in their lives. I fully support people looking to make positive changes in their lives and themselves. And though I understand the symbolic, and often psychological, importance of doing it with the beginning of the new year, it saddens me that people will wait so long when they desire change. I also realize how hard change can be, even when you want it. Humans are habitual creatures, we find comfort is rituals and habits, even when they are not good for us. Habits are easy, because they don't require us to focus on them, they are often automatic, at least to an extent. So when we try to change they, it often proves overwhelming and we simply return to our unwanted behaviors.

Despite these difficulties, I am going to try to improve some of my habits this year. I don't do New Year's Resolutions every year, I find it bad for my self-esteem as I so often fail to follow through on them. Maybe this year I will be successful, as it is the year of the Rabbit and I am a Rabbit. So here, I am going to post my New Year's Resolutions for 2011. I hope that making them public will add a little "peer" pressure to my desire to make these changes in my life.

1. Improve my health - I want to become more physically fit. I need to work on my cardio-vascular health, stamina, and muscle tone. I got a gym membership to this end at the end of October, but haven't been fully utilizing it. My promise to myself is to go to the gym at least two times a week. I then would like to add exercising at home, as well. I also need to make sure I take my vitamins daily (I'm terrible at remembering to take pills). Another thing I need to do is eat breakfast daily.

2. Finish novel/editing - I participated in Nanowrimo with my husband in November. I would like to round out the experience, which I wrote about here, by completing the story and the entire writing process. I think it will help me learn more about the writing process and myself.

3. Read 2 books a month - I haven't gotten to read nearly as much as I usually do in the last couple of years. Between teaching and my masters degree, I had virtually no time. I admit freely that when I did have time, I was burnt out on reading after all the studying and I frequently vegged out online. I'd actually like to read more than two books a month, but I know that with working full time that may not be possible.

4. Blog weekly - I have neglected my blogs lately, again mostly due to the time devoted to school and work. My goal this year is to post weekly, either here or on my technology blog, Tech for Teachers. I especially need to make sure I am posting to my professional blog at least every two weeks. If any teachers that peruse this blog have something they'd like me to look into, please let me know.

5. Actively help a cause - I want to help those in need. I signed up for the Walk for Diabetes this year, but sadly only got one donation and then couldn't walk because my daughter had a school commitment that same day. I participate in Causeworld through my iPhone, it's an app that lets you earn "karma" points and vote where funds donated by sponsors go. Through this app, I feel I'm helping in some small way. However, I want to be a good example for my child when it comes to being generous and help out people in need. I'd like to walk or volunteer for a couple of causes this year. The problem will be deciding which one or two I want to prioritize. Diabetes, AIDS, cancer, there are so many good causes. Is it selfish to consider raising money for something you have?

Well, those are my five goals for this year. Wish me luck, and good luck with your New Year's Resolutions as well.