Resolutions

Sole of Vibram FiveFinger Sprint

I have to give credit to nominatissima for this post idea.

I’ve been of mixed feelings about New Year’s Resolutions for a while.

On one hand, I’m not a fan of making resolutions I likely will not achieve. Similarly, if I really do want to do something, I’m not likely to wait until January 1 to work toward that goal.

That said, I find that the new year can be a useful marker to bringing some of that “back burner” stuff more forward — goals that I can achieve reasonably as long as I approach them with sufficient resolve. (For instance, I did start running 5ks in 2011, due to a New Year’s resolution.) Surprise, surprise: Joining in a cultural time of resolution can help strengthen both my sense of accountability and therefore my resolve.

So I’m toying with a couple of resolutions for myself:

  1. I want to run more. That is, I would like to make substantial progress either at my 5k time or via moving toward 7k or maybe even 10k. Both would be awesome, but given time constraints — especially of adding distance (which also includes safe travel constraints) — I would gladly take one or the other.
  2. I want to write better. Somewhere in the last few months, I’ve noticed a pressure — a pressure that may come from entirely within myself — to write frequently. At times, I know this has come at the expense of writing well. Though I expect I will write less — and I don’t promise that no posts will suck — my priority going forward is going to be quality (as I see it) over freqency.

I’m pretty comfortable with those for myself, especially given their personalization and flexibility. That said, I’d be interested in knowing people’s feelings about New Year’s resolutions. Do you set them for yourself (every year or on occasion)? Do you generally follow through on them? Do you feel any kind of societal pressure to set these goals — sometimes I do — and if so, do you resent that?

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I'm here. I like stuff. Some other stuff, I like less.

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One comment on “Resolutions
  1. R. H. Ward says:

    I’ve made resolutions in the past and found them to be really helpful. I have a livejournal and used that to track my progress every month and ended up being really pleased with how I kept some resolutions (“Give to charity every month”) and less pleased with others (“Sweep the floor more regularly”). Making resolutions that are quantifiable and things that I actually want to do (I hate sweeping the floor even if I wish I did it more often) helped me keep them, and actually tracking the resolutions, instead of just making them and forgetting about them, was revolutionary for me not just in keeping the resolutions, but in making better ones the following year (i.e., no more housecleaning resolutions since it just made me feel bad).

    That said, last year I was personally in such a good place that I didn’t feel the need for resolutions. I had my physical fitness routine in place and a lot of other good things, and resolutions to me feel like they’re about making changes, not about maintaining. So I worked on maintenance and looked ahead to some long-term goals instead. That’s my plan for this year too.

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