New Year’s Resolutions 2011

It is simplistic and overly negative to say that 2010 was an annus horribilus for me. And for my family. As I have documented in this blog and elsewhere, 2010 was a year of significant losses, but it was also a year with some significant positives. I guess nothing is all black and all white. Good things can come from even the most negative circumstances.

Well all of that notwithstanding, I am not at all sorry to see the backside of 2010. Good riddance. I welcome 2011 and the chance to draw new pictures on a clean slate. I have thought a lot about the meaning of the turning of the year and I have some definite goals and resolutions and some heartfelt hopes and wishes for this new year.

As much as I have contemplated my resolutions, I have also thought about whether these should be public or private resolutions. Now, why would I spend so much energy wondering about this? Am I afraid to publicly commit and risk public failure if I cannot hold to my resolutions? Is it just an innate desire for privacy around ideas which matter deeply to me? If I were such a private person, would I write a blog? Is that a contradiction which gives the lie to a desire for privacy? Why not publicly commit to goals which should be meaningful enough to me that I will strive to fulfill them even if they are difficult or subject to backsliding?

Resolutions can fall into multiple categories. There are tangible and intangible resolutions. Or perhaps another way to put it is there are concrete and philosphical goals. A concrete goal would be the pretty common desire to lose twenty pounds. Well, I may say it is common, but that doesn’t mean it is easily achieveable. Happily, this year I don’t have that resolution. Having gotten into pretty good physical shape through the breast cancer walk and my exercise schedule during unemployment,  I can merely resolve that I would like to hold to my current weight and to continue to improve my ability to do push-ups. Alex is my role model here. He can do over 100 push-ups. When he shipped out to boot camp, I could do one full-body push up. Now I can do well over twenty. Sometimes thirty. I haven’t really told anyone this, but I am secretly very proud each morning when I work out. Kathy Smith or Jillian Michaels or Michelle Dozois will tell us to do push-ups and they hit their knees, but I go full body and that makes me proud. So, no weight loss goal for me, but I would like to crack 50 push-ups and maybe a pull-up or two.

Now a philosophical goal is by definition less easy to measure and often no harder or easier to implement. I have spent far too much time and energy this year fighting depression, sadness and feelings of loss. Not only is this a real waste of energy, it gets incredibly boring both for me and for everyone around me. Now I may have had some good reasons to feel sad and unmoored. I lost a job I had valued and had held for a quarter decade and by which I had defined myself. I lost my mother, a woman I had admired and loved deeply. Those are both earthshaking events and require a lot of adjustment and the process of grief. But there also has to come a point in time when one moves forward. That doesn’t mean forgetting, but it does mean changing one’s focus to the future and imagining exciting new adventures. So, a philosphical resolution for me would be to focus on having my glass half full and being thankful for the good and the blessings I have and not regretting the things I no longer have. This is a goal which is much harder to measure than weight loss and no easier to effect. But I think it is nonetheless a goal to stand me in good stead as 2011 unfurls itself. I have some good role models to look to and I resolve to work on my attitude and I hope to hear a collective sigh of relief from those I love and who surround me.

So, now I have outlined one tangible and one intangible goal for the year. I’ll take one more of each I think and call it a full slate. My second tangible goal is to stop drinking alcohol completely. This goal is closely aligned to the two previously outlined goals. Abstaining from alcohol makes weight maintenance tons easier. That is a key lesson I carry from my stints with Weight Watchers. Alcohol is a depressant and building that sunny outlook on life can only be easier by avoiding depressive substances. Whew. Not drinking alcohol is easier said than done. What about peer pressure? What about social situations? What about those days when all you want is a glass of wine and a chance to kick back. All good questions, but nothing others haven’t faced before. Can I do it? Guess that’s what everyone asks when they embark on a resolution.

So, now the second less tangible resolution. This is to continue to push my multi-prong, full-frontal assault on finding the next stage in my professional like. I am convinced it is out there and I am getting closer to finding it all the time. I need to keep pushing and to remember that this is an adventure. The natural fears of not finding something and worry about money need to take a back seat to the wide open search to find the kind of business situation which will make me leap out of bed in the morning again. I yearn for the challenges and excitement of strategizing a business, the satisfaction of seeing bottom line results and the pleasure of interacting with and managing people. It has taken me some time to get to this point, but the beginning of the new year is the natural watershed to leave the past behind and focus on the future.

So, those are my resolutions and they are now my public resolutions.

  • Maintain my weight and improve my physical strength
  • Live life with my glass half full and a positive attitude
  • Abstain from alcohol
  • Go after my professional future with avidity and passion

Wish me the best as I strive to hold to them through the days and weeks to come. If I can make these goals my life, 2011 is sure to be an annus miribilis.

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4 Comments to “New Year’s Resolutions 2011”

  1. Go jenny go!! Putting my Prevention hat on for a second, I would say don’t quit alcohol altogether. There are a lot of health bennies to one glass of wine a day. In fact, I need to start drinking!

    • You know I am the kind of person who can’t eat one square of chocolate, I eat the whole bar. I have never eaten a Crispy Creme because I felt not knowing how good they are makes the temptation withstandable. Or put another way, I am all in or all out, but no half measures.

  2. Jenny, good luck with your resolutions. I am now encouraged to sit down and really evaluate what I want to go after this year. For the last few years I have abstained from making resolutions and that’s starting to feel like a cop-out.

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