Ah, the tourists are back at the gym. I have to carefully scope out the entire treadmill/stairmaster/cycle scene before figuring out which one has an opening - not which one I'd like to do, which one is available. It will pass. Uusally in March. The problem is that January is like the first day of school: "I'm going to be the best student ever all decked out in my new holiday gifts and good feelings." Until the first test...in every subject....comes in late Feburary/early March.
Nevertheless, it's not a useless exercise to set goals. For as long as I can remember I've been sitting down sometime around New Years to chart out my year - what I want to do, what I want to achieve, how I'd like to get there, etc. Two problems in particular have surfaced these past few years: one, I've set myself up to fail and two, I've given myself too much time. The first one packed a punch last year. I attempted to create a healthier lifestyle by completely obliterating all my comfort foods (Chik-fil-a, McDonalds, Starbucks at one point and soda). I had no chance. I manged to last until September with the soda and McDonalds and then, like the tests, everything hit at once and I fell into a soda-induced coma of sorts - midful of my failure of course but concious of the immediate gratification.
The second problem: short attention span. I've set my goals in the past to be accomplished throughout the year (occasionally with a mid-year timeline). When I was in school this was easier. Most of my ambitions consisted of graduating, finishing with a certain GPA, etc. Now, in the "real world" timeframes are more ambiguous and self-constructed. It's no good to set goals if you only strive to meet them during the week between Christmas and the next year.
So, I'm trying a different option this year, inspired by a friend of mine who made a new years resolution last year to try one thing each month that scared her. No doubt her year was unforgettable. I've given themes to each month of 2009 and set goals within those themes. If this approach proves as successful as I imagine it could be, I should at least make progress in 12 self-defined areas. Obviously, at least I hope it's obvious, February won't be the only month that I worry about my health and December will not be the only month that I play the piano. I'll incorporate these activities throughout the year, this just gives me a set period of time to really hone in on some changes throughout the year.
January = Organization
February = Health (shortest month of the year seemed appropriate for this)
March = Professional Development
April = Culinary Activity
May = Exploring Charlotte
June = Writing
July = Spiritual Growth
August = Literary Classics
September = Learning Italian
October = Family History
November = Home Improvement
December = Piano
And, in the event that I continue to feel uninspired about blog subject matter, at least I'll have a fallback each month.