For years I have been making new year’s resolutions that have helped me to tackle the big goals I’ve had for my life – running a marathon, taking a trip around the world, and going to grad school to list a few. But this year when resolution time rolled around, I was feeling a bit lost because, with the exception of hiking the PCT, I’ve accomplished all of the big things I’d ever wanted to do. In fact, this whole past year I’ve felt a little like a ship without a rudder. It’s like I’ve finally arrived and now I keep asking myself, “Now what? Is this really it? Is this my life now?” While I should be content, I actually feel a bit of a panic deep down that I have missed something or that I’ve got to find something new to work toward because I don’t know who I am without mountains to climb and challenges to overcome.

So when it really came down to it to make a goal for this year, I decided on something small that actually is really huge for me: being content with where and who I am. It started with a few small goals – write more, learn to play guitar, study a new language, ride my bike to work, pay off debt – that I knew would make me feel happier every day, but it has now grown into a huge project. I’ve been tracking these early goals with a spreadsheet that I made and have been checking off my progress each day. One of my goals though, writing more often, has been really lacking, however, and so I am hoping to blog regularly about this goal. Hopefully, sharing my struggle to become more content with the everydayness of life will lead to some interesting discussions, as well as suggestions and tips from you to help me along the way.

Have any of you been working on similar goals? What are some of the things you do that make you feel happy?

In 2007 I reached most of my goals. I ran a half-marathon, did outdoor rock climbing, got my TEFL certificate, learned basic (very basic) German and moved to a foreign country. The only two that left me hanging were doing 8 things from the 101 things to do before you die list, and selling all my stuff on e-bay. I did manage to sell a lot of my stuff, but I also gave a lot away and ended up putting some in storage at my sister’s house. Oh yes, and I only read 38 books instead of 52, but I’m still glad I made the goal because I read way more than I have in years.

It seems making reachable goals is a lot more fulfilling than making goals that I’d like to happen, but in all likelihood will never be achieved (like working out everyday). So, this year I have similar goals to those I made in 2007. Here they go:

1. Read 52 books, or one book a week. If nothing else, I’d like to at least read more books than I did in 2007.

2. This one was supposed to be “finally take that rock climbing trip with my sister,” but she just told me she’s going to El Salvador from May until August so I don’t even know if I’ll have a chance to see her this year.

3. Run another half-marathon (the cowtown in October), but train better this time. I want to beat last year’s time so I really should train.

4. Buy a bike and ride it to school.

5. Pass all my pre-requisites, aka don’t slack off in my first semester back at CSUS.

6. Really learn German, like in a class. I now know I can’t get by with “Guten Tag,” so I’ve got to do something more organized.

I think those are all doable, yes?

What were your New Year’s resolutions?

I shun most holiday traditions.

But for some reason I feel compelled to make New Years Resolutions every year.

This will be my third resolutions blog (I can’t believe I’ve been on myspace that long).

Instead of coming up with things I likely won’t complete, I’ve decided to go with things I was planning on doing anyway in the hopes I’ll be more likely to complete them.

Funny thing is after I wrote my list I looked up my last year’s goals and found that a lot of them are very similar, if not the same. Hm….I guess I didn’t do too well this past year.

Anyway, here we go:

1. Read one book a week AND write a review. I want to learn how to write better reviews and the only way to get better at something is to practice, right? I already have about 38 books on my list, which leaves 14 more possibilities. Any suggestions you have are welcome.

2. Move to a foreign country: Ha! This sounds impossible, but I assure you it’s not. I will be in France next year.

3. Sell all my stuff on eBay: I can’t take it all with me to France now can I? If it won’t fit in my suitcase, it’s got to go. This also means if you’ve been coveting anything of mine now is the time to speak up.

4. Learn basic German: After France I’m headed to Germany with the boy. I gotta learn how to speak if I’m going to make a good impression on his family there…

5. Run a 1/2-marathon: I don’t think my body is ready for a full marathon, but there’s a 1/2 that I want to do on May 20th. I guess that means I’ll have to start running a little more often.

6. Do outdoor rockclimbing: I’ve been going to the rockclimbing gym for a few months now and I have most of the gear. Now all I need is an experienced climber to go with me to Yosemite or Tahoe. I also want to do the Utah national parks with my sister this summer, but that can only happen if I learn all my stuff.

7. Get my TEFL certificate: Signed up yesterday and classes start on Jan. 26 so this one should be easy. After all, I need a job in France don’t I?

8. Start the list: I’d like to accomplish at least six things (one every other month) on the list this year.

That’s it folks. In the end I did accomplish some of my goals last year. I read more books, at least two a month. And I passed the CBEST this month, so that’s out of the way. And I did have a lot of fun, something I hope to continue in the coming years.

What are your resolutions? Anything weird?

Last year I only had one new year’s resolution and I made it to May before giving in to Jack in the Box and their delicious 2 tacos for $1 deal. So this year, I have the same resolution – to limit fast food to once a month – along with several other things I’d like to change or accomplish this year.

– I resolve to decrease my sugar intake. I’ve been eating way too much candy and cookies lately and my teeth are starting to hurt from it, so I’m pretty much giving it up, except for the occasional M&M’s.

– I’m going to begin Spanish classes so I can try to communicate with Costa Ricans while I’m there this summer, along with this goal is the goal to save up enough money to even take the trip. (see the end of this blog for latest update on donations)

– I’m going to be more assertive in telling people what I want so I don’t get stuck in a relationship/job/position I don’t want to be in.

– I’m going to have as much fun as possible! This is an important one.

– I’m going to read more. I want to try to read at least two books per month, if not more.

– I’m going to take the CBEST and pass (hopefully) so I can begin tutoring/substitute teaching, which leads to my last and final goal:

– I’m going to fill out my application for the Peace Corps.

So how ’bout the rest of you? Did you accomplish your goal this year and have you set new ones for next year? Even if it’s not something you normally do, New Year’s resolutions are a good idea because they give us a milestone, a time that we’ll remember and be able to use to gauge our progress.

PS I received another donation for Costa  Rica! This time from Joe. Thanks Joe!

$1002
+ 25
——-
1027

Only $1500 to go. Remember you can read about what I’ll be doing and donate by pushing the “Make a donation” button on my front page.