Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy New Year! (Eight Days Later)

I love the newness of things. And January 1, 2012, was not only the start of a new year but of a new day, a new week, and a new month. It was the perfect time to be starting something.

Over the years (and after reading many self help books for the pure enjoyment of it), I’ve developed a set of core goals that I use to base my actions on. Will what I do help me achieve any of the following?

· I will live the most authentic and best life possible that is honest and respectful of myself and others.

· I will be a successful published writer of children’s books. I will entertain people with my stories. I will promote literacy, especially in children’s lives.

· I will lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

· I will be financially secure and independent.

· I will surround myself with people who share my interests and learn from one another.

I wanted to wait a week before posting my goals for 2012 since I wanted to get back to my normal routine after all the holiday hullabaloo and see what was doable yet challenging at the same time.

It’s always a good idea to break down bigger, long-term goals into small, easily achievable ones. That’s why I like monthly challenges- and naming them. And, yet, I didn’t come up with one for January!

  • Volunteer 100 hours this year. As of today, I had already clocked in 8 hours. I realized that with just my regular library shift, I would have met this goal easily so this is something I will have to adjust.
  • Lose 15 pounds (over the year, of course!) This may sound like a lot but it’s only 1.25 pounds a month and we all know how lost weight are magically found during the winter months. [This is reminding me how responsible I am in regards to meeting this goal or not. If I choose to continue to eat the way I do (which is a lot!), then I definitely have to put in some time at the gym.]
  • Exercise 3 times a week for 30 minutes each- with at least one of them being on the elliptical. [The first week was extremely successful. I exercised 6 out of 7 days and 4 of them were on the elliptical.]
  • Vegetarian Days- 3 times a week
  • No Spending Days- 3 times a week [The first week was challenging since I only had 2 NSDs by Friday and it was only that evening that I decided 3 times was a doable goal.]
  • Read 60 books this year. I figured if I was to do it the past two years, I can do it again.
  • Move to a new studio/apartment. [I had originally planned on moving when my lease ran out on March but I may extend it due to other goals requiring financial attention.]
  • Save up for a Philippine vacation in December. Buy tickets no later than September but preferably in June.
  • Become a US citizen. [I attended a citizenship class at a library. It was supposed to last 6 weeks but it seemed easier than I thought it would be. I won’t be attending any more classes but I can start the application sooner.]
  • Get eye exam.
  • Get dental exam.
  • Look into IRA’s.

I also started keeping a Goals Calendar in which I write down what I accomplished that day. It’s a very useful tool to see how much I’ve done and motivates me to keep on keeping on.

If you’re reading this, you probably have your own goals. Feel free to share them. I find that if you share them, the more likely you’ll end up doing it since you are now accountable for your actions.

Also, I know some people hate the idea of New Year’s resolutions. But whatever you call them, I hope you set some goals for yourself. And, if you fail or momentarily forgot about them, try again. If you think it’s too late to start, it’s not. Every second is a new opportunity. Start now.

Note: I use “goals” to refer to both “goals and resolutions”. Some people do use them interchangeably but there is a difference. Goals are something that can be achieved. Resolutions are something that has to be maintained.

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