I love lists. I do. I keep a list while I’m working – either in the kitchen or at my desk – because I tend to remember I need to do or buy something when I’m working on something else. I’ll be writing away on a document and my brain will remind me to buy flour and sugar. It’s not a convenient feature of my brain, but I’ve learned to work with it by keeping a list at my side, nearly always.
I love crossing things off the list almost as much as having my list. That push of the pen across the paper – wiping out one more damn thing I have to get done – it’s addictive. So addictive, I sometimes finish something and then write it on the list just to strike it off. I know it’s weird.
Now, take new year’s resolutions – that’s a list, but it’s a list that takes all year to get done, isn’t it? I find that dreadfully hard. Still, last year I did OK on my 2010 list of goals (see the honest review here). For example, these are now habit:
- I now have a system for sending birthday cards to my family and friends.
- I eat a mostly vegetarian diet with whole grains, veggies, fruit and fish. Not bad.
- I drink a big jug of water every single day. Again, not bad.
But, as always, there are things I want to work on. For example, I failed miserably in getting to yoga often this year. I did well clearing debt in the beginning of the year, but in the end, I failed to pay off my credit card. I failed miserably at knitting an adult-sized sweater becoming frustrated and confused at each turn – probably because I decided to start not one, but three sweaters! Not smart. Not smart at all. As you may have predicted, I got nowhere on any of the sweaters. In fact, I frogged two of them and then quickly knit up a baby sweater to take the edge off. Still, I have no hand knit sweater of my own to wear.
So, this year I’ve decided to do something a little out of the ordinary. I’m going to focus on one thing every month that will stretch my boundaries or give me a new perspective or simply to try something new. I’ll have some basic goals – that’s my trust in lists, you see – but outside that, I’ll have something new or different each month to work on. When it seems reasonable, the monthly effort can support one or more of the goals. This way, I hope to improve my daily habits.
To start, here is my 2011 list of goals:
- Get to yoga more often
- Pay off the credit card account
- Wash my face each night and apply anti-aging lotion
- Invest the maximum in the 401k
- Wear lipstick more often
- Stay close to 125 pounds
- Knit one sweater I can wear
- Laugh more often
So, now to my effort for January. This month, I’m reducing my alcohol intake. I’m doing this for several reasons, including:
- I’ve gotten far too used to it.
- It will really help me lose the holiday weight.
- I need a break from it to put it in perspective.
I know what you are thinking, but no, it’s not because I had a rollicking New Year’s Eve last night. So not. I wish I had.
What’s ‘strictly reducing’ you ask? For this particular effort, I’ll have no more than two drinks per week. I’ll keep track of them in my planner.
Women’s Health magazine and More magazine (plus my own nurse practitioner) recommend limiting alcohol intake to 3-5 glasses per week for women. Increased alcohol consumption is a contributing factor in breast and ovarian cancer. Therefore, I think this is a good starting effort for 2011.
Happy New Year everyone and good luck on your resolutions list!