It's the last morning of the last day of 2011, and I am going over my list of resolutions as I drink a cup of warm coffee. I'm sure there are too many of them--I have heard that making too many or too ambitious resolutions sets you up to fail--but in a way I think it's good to want things, especially good things for myself. So, here are a list of some of the things I want to be new in the new year.
1. Stop smoking, for good
I know, I know. I had quit for many years but this year was stressful, and in a moment of weakness I picked up a cigarette. Then another one. And another. I was ashamed of myself, but it was an old, old, old habit that was SO familiar. I have cut back to 1 every other day. It's time. I love myself and my body, and cigarettes don't make me feel GOOD in the way that I want to.
2. Lose 10 pounds
Typical resolution, and probably not the best one since they say you gain weight when you quit smoking. But I have a whole year to do it. I should probably focus more on being healthy than achieving a certain number on the scale, though. Which leads me to resolution #3.
3. Be more active
This is as much for my mood as my health. I know that I love walking outside, playing with my family, having Wii competitions on Friday nights at home, going camping and hiking and biking. I am not and probably never will be a competitive sports person. I am not planning to run a marathon or become an extreme skier. But just moving around--especially outside--makes me feel alive. No more excuses this year.
4. Be more grateful
I have had this resolution before, and I think it's still a work in progress. I get so caught up in the little annoyances of daily life and all the things I wish had happened, that I forget about how wonderful my life already is. Even this list of resolutions is sort of like that--focusing on what I lack rather than what I have. I have to be careful not to let my desire to be better become a way of feeling sorry for myself. It's such a fine line. But at the end of the day, I have so much to be thankful for. My health, my friends, my family, my cats, a lovely home, a safe neighborhood, yummy food and drink, fresh air, sunrises and sunsets, intelligence, empathy, experiences, enough money to be OK... these are the things I should focus on. I will try to do that more this year.
5. Be more giving
As our finances took a dive in the past few years, I found myself no longer giving to the non-profits and organizations that I usually gave to. Even though it was rarely very much-- $20 here and there-- it was important to me, and I'm sure it added up for the cause I cared about. Not only did my financial giving stop, but I also haven't been volunteering as much as I used to. This must change. Even if I can't spare a lot of cash, I can spare an hour or two at least once a week to help someone. I know from experience that I get more out of these "volunteer" acts than I ever could give. It brings me into touch with people I would have never met otherwise, and teaches me about different people's experiences and lives.
Those are my top 5. A lot, I know. I'm starting with #1. Hopefully #3 and #4 will help with #1. And #5 I can start today. #2? Well, maybe #2 will happen on its own if I focus on the rest. Maybe...