New Year’s Resolutions

Fast Journal, Day 19

So here I am on the last afternoon of the Fast, listening to a Ricky Lee Jones CD that reminds me so much of living in Japan I can almost taste the sukiyaki. It’s funny how some things can feel like so long ago and just yesterday at the same time. I’m also preparing our house for a potluck dinner we’re having tonight with our Baha’i community to break the Fast. I can’t believe it’s already been 19 days.

So it’s time for some resolutions. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions on January 1st. Mostly because I know I won’t keep them. 🙂

But when Naw-Ruz, the Baha’i New Year, comes around, I feel more inclined to do some personal goal-setting. Perhaps it’s because it coincides with the first day of spring, which feels like a natural time for new beginnings. Perhaps it’s because the fasting period before the new year offers a great opportunity for reflection, and to examine aspects of life that could use some adjusting. At any rate, I feel inspired to set some new goals.

I’m excellent at setting goals in my head. I’m also excellent at reaching them. In my head. I’m hoping that writing them down for all the world to see will make it easier to follow through.

So my first goal for this year is:

I think best when I write. I process feelings through writing. Sometimes I don’t even know exactly what I think or feel about something until I start writing about it. That’s probably part of the reason why I like Facebook and blogging so much. For me, there’s nothing impersonal about e-mailing instead of calling. In fact, you’ll get much more coherent thoughts out of me if I write rather than talk to you.

I started reading “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, and one of the things she recommends is something called Morning Pages. Write three hand-written pages every morning as a kind of “brain dump.” It doesn’t have to be anything good, or important, or eloquent. Just a place to “put” all the stuff that clogs up your brain. I really need to do that daily dump.

So that’s my first goal. Second one:

Lots of things fit under this category. Putting away the cereal box after I poor it. Putting away the laundry after I fold it. Writing down what we did for school after we do it. Making sure the kids clean their dishes off the table after they eat (you’d think years of daily reminders of such things would stick, but there’s clearly some genetic issues at play – Havarti and I both have this problem). The vast majority of my homemaking frustrations come down to moving on to the next thing before I’ve wrapped up the first.

So that’s the second goal. Third:

I’m really looking forward to getting out on the trails again now that the weather is warming up. Last summer, I used that time running to physically release stress and mentally escape for a bit. That was awesome.

This year I want to add another element. I often think I don’t have time alone to pray and meditate as much as I want to, but exercise time is all mine. There’s no rule that says you have to be still to meditate. Or pray, for that matter. Combining prayer, meditation, and exercise seems like a good solution for a busy mom.

So that’s goal three.

And that’s all I’m starting with. I have a whole little mental checklist of other goals I  could add, but I’m resisting the temptation. Three is doable. I can remember three and keep focused on them. Any more than that and I’ll get myself all discombobulated.

So cheers, all! Happy New year. 🙂

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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

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