New Year Resolutions

I live for the New Year. Fresh start... new goals... a world of possibility where--yes!--I can be perfect from the word go . In years past, I have made lists and charted my "perfect" day to the point where I all but account for my bowel movements. But this year is different. This year I'm not feeling so concerned about setting goals. Life is pretty good, as is. There are some areas to be fine-tuned for sure, but I am simultaneously impressed/concerned with my lack of stated, specific goals for 2009.

Here's what I've got so far:

  • Run 2 marathons
  • Unplug the TV in January
  • Work out with weights at least 2x/week
  • Write a novel

These are remarkably different goals from prior years in that they lack specifics. However, I've come to think of specifics as something to be wary of. Yes, I know I'm supposed to set SMART goals such as "I will run the Richmond Marathon in November in under 4 hours." But this backfires for me. For better or worse, I'm the sort of person that if you tell me I HAVE to do something, that is immediately the last thing in the world I want/care about doing. I resent being "forced" into a corner, even if I'm the one doing the forcing.

However, if you tell me, "You know what--anything you can offer is great. If you could just write a page for us, you know, whenever you feel like it--no pressure--that would be wonderful," then guess what? I am all in. I will slam out not only what you asked me for but 20 extra pages of research, collated, and tied with a bow. As long as I have an exit strategy, I am head-first, totally committed to a goal or project. I can fight it, but that's the way I am so I may as well learn to work with it.

Going back to the goals, if I tell myself I have to complete a novel by March and have it sold by November, I won't touch the project. But if the goal is just to complete a novel... just to see if I can do it, no worries about publishing, I'll do it.

How about you, dear readers? Any goals or resolutions you'd like to share for the New Year?