Charms of a New Year

There’s something about a fresh start, a clean slate, a new beginning. No tainted memories, no bad experiences, and a pristine plain ahead of us, completely untouched. Whether or not it’s tangible, it still feels fresh and new and alive with possibilities. Especially as Americans; our country was founded on the American Dream, the land of opportunity, after all.

Is that what appeals to us about New Year’s resolutions? It’s a brand new year full of promise. An easy starting point to count off, although our calendar is neatly broken into 12 of those, there’s something seductive about starting at one.

I read somewhere (this should be my signature phrase – I read things lots of places and can’t remember where even though I remember what I read) that stating your goals out loud makes you more likely to complete them. Isn’t that the purpose of yesterday’s Writing Challenge? State your goals and aspirations, your New Year’s resolutions. Put them out there for the world to see!

Like everyone else, I have fallen prey to the charms of a fresh new year. Pondering the many things I would like to change or improve in 2013 became my form of entertainment during my holiday travels. Perhaps not the most amusing thing, but it worked for a while. While these may seem prosaic, they are things I’ve been thinking about for a while, even before my airport-enforced thinking time. Below are my top three:

Faith: spend regular time with God, something that has fallen down the list of priorities this fall. Off to a good start with this today.

Fitness: run regularly and eat better, which includes getting back to more of a Real Food diet, a la 100 Days of Real Food. Started well with a run this morning but lacking the diet follow up. There’s some prep involved in that that’s hard to do when you’re out of town!

Blogging: post once a week. This is the first of my posts for 2013. Off to a good start with this too! Haven’t decided on a regular posting date so we’ll see on that.

Along with stating them out loud, I’ve learned that goals are more likely achieved when they include specific and measurable steps instead of just a blanket statement like “lose weight.” Each of my goals for 2013 has two of more concrete steps that can be objectively looked at to determine if they have been achieved. I’m not going to list everything here in detail so they look more like ambiguous statements, but they do have achievable mini-goals built in!

To provide accountability, I’m going to schedule regular goal updates, probably quarterly. Not only does that knock off three more blog posts (who hoo!) but it keeps me accountable for how I’m doing.

If Doompocalypse comes and makes this a short year, I might actually have completed all three of these! And even if it doesn’t, being a track for three months will have created a pretty great routine for the rest of the year, making the likelihood of achievement even better. Bring it!

What are your goals and dreams for 2013?