happy un-new year

I resolve to cuddle my ferrets more in 2012.

I’ve never been big on resolutions for the New Year’s.

If something is that important to be done or a change needing to be made, waiting till New Year’s is silly. Moreover, I don’t like giving power to some arbitrary date.

For some goals, like losing weight, resolving after the holidays is a great time. No doubt at least a dozen people tried to feed you more than a human being should eat, and now we can say no without offending anyone. It’s expected, actually, that we’ll be cutting back.

Spending goals, too. Fair enough.

So maybe New Year’s isn’t such a bad time for some goals. In the quiet post-holiday we get some time to make hard changes.

But how many gym subscriptions will get abandoned this month? How many agents will get queried in the next two weeks, only for the writers who get no responses to give up and not keep their work in mail through February?

I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade. What I’m saying is, don’t let this New Year’s have any power over you. If there’s something you know you gotta do, then please just do it… One step and one setback at a time. There’s nothing magical about this date except for taxes and company budgets.

There’s no reason to wait to make a change you know you need to make.

There’s no reason to call those major things you need to do “New Year’s Resolutions”; in a couple of weeks 2012 will no longer be this new shiny thing like it is now. We’ll be stuck in January, and in my part of the world January is a pretty bleary thing. It’ll be so darn cold that doing anything except reading a book wrapped up in five blankets will be too much effort.

Especially going to the gym.

So I celebrated New Year’s in lipservice only. Gave out a few hugs, had a couple of drinks, but I don’t have goals that got the green-light yesterday. I set my writing goals back in October and my getting/staying healthy goal is years in the making–a moving target.

My “New Years” begins the weekend of Daylight Savings Time. The weather is changing, the days grow shorter. It naturally drives me to reflect and the physical changes outside are a powerful landmark for me. Since it feels like the world is ending, anyways, instead of fighting it, I embrace it.

And more important than making resolutions, is coming up with achievable goals and a plan to get to them. Losing 45 pounds is an “out of reach” resolution; not because it can’t be done but it can’t be metered out in nice weekly or bi-weekly doses. Progress can’t be measured unless you break it down to a pound (or two) at a time and only eating out X times a week, and maybe cutting down extra fats (butter, dressings, oils) by half. Quantifiable.

I’m two months into my New Years. I’m not where I want be but I’m not so far off track that I can’t get myself straightened out in January with realistic goals and tiny, trackable benchmarks. Four pounds this month. Getting some of my words into the hands of feed-back givers (which probably isn’t that big a thing for some, but this is new territory for me). Getting over that and working on a new story. (Ooh, there’s new shiny in my January after all!). Totally doable, totally non-overwhelming things. No major life-changes, just some tweaks here and there to what I’m already doing.

How are you going to make and meet your goals this year? Does making resolutions work for you?

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