Last month, a group of
Internet journalers got together and made a public pledge to update
their journals every single day during the month of December.
I wanted to sign up for
the project -- I thought it sounded like fun, I
enjoy a lot of the journals involved, I felt especially drawn to the
idea of working together to achieve a common creative goal -- but in
the end I decided against it. I was feeling shy, for one thing. I
figured there wasn't a prayer of me being able to actually pull it off,
for another thing. I was dispirited and grumpy about the upcoming
holidays. Plus, I worried that I wouldn't have the vast reserves
free time necessary to maintain that kind of writing committment.
So at the last second I chickened out. What if I joined the
the public pledge to update daily, got halfway through the month ...
and then missed a day?
How stoopid would *I*
Instead, I decided to do
the next best thing: I would quietly try and update every single day in
December, like the rest of the journalers were doing ...
just to see if
I could do it ... only I wouldn't tell a soul what I was up
way, only *I* would know if I was making progress.
And only *I* would know
if (or when) I fudked up.
There were a couple of
days when I almost blew it. Yesterday was one: I have been flat on my
back in bed with The Steamroller Flu since Saturday afternoon -- this
is the sickest I've been all year, basically -- and it took every
*determination molecule* I possess to crawl off my sickbed, prop myself
up in a chair and remain vertical long enough yesterday to compose a
tiny entry, about our lunch with Carolyn & Bear. Monday the
17th was another day when I almost dropped the ball. Work was insane
that day, I had no chance to write during my lunch hour, it was
practically bedtime by the time we got home that night, etc. etc. etc.
I wound up posting our "Christmas card" instead -- about a week earlier
than planned -- and calling that my 'journal entry' for the day.
But in the end: I did
I met my goal. I successfully
managed to post something new here on
*FootNotes* every single day in December. True, not every entry was
gold. (Hell ... some of them weren't even .925 Vermeil.) And true, this
isn't exactly like I won a book contract or qualified for the Olympics
or invented the cure for adult acne. As "goals" go, this one is barely
a blip on the radar screen of goals.
Still, it was MY
goal, and I met it, and I'm happy about that.
Keeping my goals as
simple as possible seems to be the key to success for me. Mind you:
"simple" doesn't necessarily mean no-brainer, like setting a "goal" to
breathe air every day. "Simple" means that you choose one or two very
specific areas of your life that could use some gentle tweakage, and
you concentrate on those areas for a while, instead of trying to change
everything in every area all at once. This is something I've only
figured out recently, and I'm finding that it applies to all sorts of
stuff: lifestyle overhauls, career choices, personal relationships,
Internet journaling ... and New Years Resolutions.
New Years Resolutions
have always been a pretty big deal with me. The other day, for
instance, I ran across my list of resolutions for 1994: six neatly
handwritten pages, altogether, divided into key areas -- Family,
Job, Housework, Weight Loss, etc. -- totalling more
than two hundred resolutions altogether. I
don't remember making that list. I imagine that I probably spent a lot
of time and ink composing it. Still, as I look through this
massive (and fudking scary) list of goals -- Lose
twenty pounds by Easter! Organize the attic! New kitchen wallpaper!
Refinish bookcase! Fix brakes on car! Talk to boss about Lotus 123
training! -- I am hard-pressed
to remember if I kept a single one of them.
I suspect I didn't.
On the other hand, my
one and only New Years Resolution for 2001 was Get
through our wedding in one piece.
Actually, I had two resolutions -- Get
through Jaymi's wedding in the other piece
was the second resolution -- but Jaymi and Joel have decided to
postpone taking the plunge for a while. So I only had one wedding to
survive this year. I think it's safe to say that I kept this
Yep. Keeping my goals
simple is one key to success. And now, thanks to The Great Top-Secret
*Posting Every Day In December* Experiment!, I know that keeping
also seems to help improve their chances of actually seeing the light
of reality. So with that in mind, I've decided that I'm not
going to disclose my one and only New
Years Resolution this year. I'm not going to post it here on
*FootNotes.* I'm not going to tell David or Jaymi or my mom or Cranky
Denver Lady. I'm not even going to confide in my personal astrologer. (She
probably knows about it already anyway.)
All I will say is this: in
2002 I'm going to take a few teeny-tiny baby
steps toward realizing a lifelong dream.
I want you to do the
I want you to think of
at least one personal goal today -- something simple, something
achievable, something you've been wanting to do but just haven't gotten
around to -- and I want you to make that your private resolution for
2002. Even if you're going public with other resolutions -- quitting
smoking, losing weight, quitting your crappy job before it sucks all of
the *joy molecules* right out of you -- try to come up with at least
one additional resolution that nobody else knows about. Don't tell your
spouse or your Significant Other or your children. Don't write about it
on your website. Don't confide in your friends or your co-workers.
Don't tell me
what it is. Write your resolution down on a scrap of paper, if you have
to, and hide it someplace where it will never be found. (Try sticking
it inside that Weight Watchers Cookbook.) We can all meet
back here, one year from today, and compare notes. The person who comes
closest to achieving his or her goal will win a fabulous prize or
something. I don't know what sort of fabulous prize, yet ... but
come up with something. (How do you feel about used Polaroid cameras?)
The rest of us can sit around and poke fun at each other.
In the meantime, Happy
New Year, everybody. Thanks a lot for sharing December -- and the rest
of 2001 -- with me. Let's do it again next year.
throw a rock