I have a bad history with goals. Secretly, I feel like if I vocalize a goal, write it down, tell Leila about it, that pretty much is the end of that endeavor. I have thought a lot about that this last week. And the end of the year seems to loom larger to me than Christmas right now. That and I am procrastinating finishing Christmas gifts.
My friend Erin wrote this year not on the goals she had, but the person she wanted to become over this next year. I love her goal to get "some swagger." I love this idea and started writing a list of the things I want to become over the next year or the things I want to learn or do. But they all distill down to daily, or repeated action, that end up not being sustainable, and I quickly drop them for short term time fillers. If my goal were to watch Jon Stewart every day after the kids go to bed, I guarantee I could do it for a year. If my goal were to read a SciFi book a week, you could bet I would do it. Instead I, like most people, try to make goals that are good for me, and apparently I don't really want to do those things, or else I would, right? I like sweets. I love watching TV. I don't really like to exercise. Apparently I don't like to read my scriptures every day, another goal I fail at repeatedly.
I envy people who have the strength of will to keep up a daily, good-for-you activity. While thinking about how to make myself build good habits and improve myself, I stumbled onto a blog category of 365 day projects. There are a lot of photo-a-day blogs. The link is to a metasite that compiles these blogs; I bet Kodak's film department head curses the development of digital cameras every time they look at such a site. That is a lot of pictures, beautiful pictures. I found a series of eat-better/local/organic/vegetarian-for-a-year blogs, many inspired by the book, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," which I read a few years back. Here is another about a family's experiment of a farm for a year that turned into their life. When I was searching for a list of blogs to write about it became a game to find a phrase and add "for a year" to it and see if such a site/blog existed. For exercize buffs: Running for a year, yoga for a year, or go the otherway with Daily Mcdonalds aka Supersize Me. How about a "book a day for a year" - yep, someone has done that. "No environmental impact for a year", someone has tried that too. The list could go on and on.
Am I building up to making this blog a record of my Jon-Stewart-watching-every-day-for a year goal? No, but I do want to find a way to motivate myself to do the daily work that is required for many goals. As Juma Ikangaa once said, "The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare. " I had that on a poster on my wall when I was 16. I felt like I accomplished a lot of things that year. I practiced every day. I read my scriptures. I fell asleep doing homework most nights. I was a stress case though.
My goal for this year is to build good habits. I would like to be the sort of person that can do something good, every day, even if it is hard. I think I will try to find something small that I can do everyday, and I will try to report in periodically, but I will not inflict 365 days of blog posts to it.
As a postscript, I ran into a website of poems compiled by the US Poet Laureate for a poem a day, that I couldn't help sharing: