I've been trying to decide if I want to make New Year's resolutions this year. There are a lot of benefits to doing this -- mostly that when you make a conscious committment to something I think it becomes more likely that you will at least make an effort to stick with it. My problem has been trying to come up with personal goals for the next year. I browsed some websites for ideas and found the top ten New Year's resolutions among people in the United States. Here they are along with my thoughts about how they might (or might not) work for me:
1. Lose weight and/or get in better physical shape: I'm pretty satisfied with my current weight and I exercise 3 to 4 times a week already. I'm ok with that.
2. Stick to a budget: Ok, I admit that I could do a better job budgeting. However, I'm also realistic enough to know that I look at a budget as a guideline and that it would be very difficult for me to go by an exact budget. That being said, why make a resolution I know I can't fulfill? Still, I might consider something like, "Save $200 a month," but I already try to do that anyway.
3. Debt reduction: I don't really have a lot of debt and I'm steadily paying on what I do have.
4. More quality time with family and friends: I think I do a pretty good job with this. I visit my parents (and often my sisters and nieces are there too) once a week and talk to them more frequently. Every couple of months my sisters and I get together for a "sister day." I do Saturdays with one of my best girlfriends almost every week, and I talk to my best friend in Georgia at least once a week.
5. Find my soul mate: I don't think this is a valid goal because it's something a person doesn't have much control over. A better goal might be, "Date more often" or "Meet two new people." Plus I'm dating someone and I'm relativley satisfied with the relationship.
6. Quit smoking: I don't smoke.
7. Find a better job: That was my resolution for 2008 and I did it. I like to stay in one place for a few years and I'm ok with where I am now.
8. Learn something new: This actually isn't a bad resolution. I just have to decide what I might like to learn.
9. Volunteer/help others: I've ran into some problems finding volunteer work that's outside of normal working hours. Also, I'm a therapist so I help others for a living. One of the reasons I chose the profession is because I wanted to help others and also because I wanted to feel good about what I do every day.
10. Get organized: I'm really not that disorganized.
I'm not saying my life is perfect -- far from it. I think I'm just satisfied with the way it is. I don't know if that's a good thing or if it's a cop out. I like "learn something new" as a goal -- I've been thinking about taking an art class and have actually looked into it. I wonder if "take an art class" is ok for a New Year's resolution. I kind of thought New Year's resolutions needed to be major life changes. Maybe I'll just keep it simple this year...