Thursday, January 1, 2009

Resolutions & Goals 2009

New Years Resolutions are one of my absolute favorite bandwagons to jump on, because I crave the sort of arbitrary accountability they create. I'm one of those people who will write my tasks down in a list simply for the satisfaction of crossing them off when complete, so this is a tradition that I'm game for pretty much every year. I tend to make two lists though, one for Resolutions and one for Goals. Resolutions are measurable and tangible behaviors that I want to get in the habit of doing, and goals are usually broader, less quantifiable aims I'd like to achieve. So here it goes:

1. Exercise. I know, I know, always on everyone's list. However, I have a preexisting medical condition that could seriously jeopardize my health and well-being if I continue to slack on this one, so no more excuses. To be realistic though I'm starting small - 2 workouts a week, at least one of which should be a yoga class at the gym. Any maybe I'll give this another go.

2. Get up earlier. I am convinced that my desire to sleep in originates solely from my poor sleep habits. I love the feeling of accomplishing a lot early in the day. Plus, this will make me more inclined to go to bed earlier, and perhaps that will help put an end to the perennial struggle of trying to fall asleep during BF's atomic-boom-snoring.

3. Keep my car clean, inside and out. Includes monthly car wash, and weekly interior-shit-accumulation cleaning.

4. Keep my apartment clean. To be fair, this is a habit I've been trying to develop for a few months now, with some success. Putting it on my list just helps keep me accountable. On the other hand, I've made a lot of excuses this semester about law school making me too busy to clean. However, when I went to visit family and saw my aunt who keeps her house beautifully clean (without outside help) despite it being 3-4 times larger than my apartment, and despite having a full time job, marriage, dog, and three teenagers, I decided it was time to suck it up and stop making excuses.

5. Try 2 new recipes a month. This will keep me thinking about developing a health and exciting diet, without being too overwhelming. New recipes take a lot more time and planning than familiar ones, especially since I'm still building my spice and pantry reserves. One a week is too many, one a month is too few.

6. Record all my purchases in my monthly budget. I used to do this, but gave up entirely after I got internet banking. In retrospect, taking the time to remember and record all of my purchases myself makes me a lot more aware of what and how I'm spending than if I just look at my balances online.

1. Develop better financial habits. Resolution #6 is a big part of this because I think it will help me make and stick to a realistic budget, and will reduce impulse/emotional purchasing. Paying off half of my credit card debt this year is the other big part of this goal. My credit card debt is especially frustrating to me right now, because I have already gotten into the habit of making better financial decisions than when I amassed most of that debt, but it is now that I am stuck with the constant consequences of my past mistakes. Moreover, BF and I have decided to start saving for some big things in the future (like a house) and that's something I can't contribute to right now because my rates are increasing and I'm faced with large monthly payments. I know that paying down my debt is a small contribution to our ability to buy a house, but I'd like to be saving money too.

2. Develop better study habits. I'm sort of stumped in terms of breaking this down into tangible parts, because I find that my study habits are different for every class, and they just sort of develop as I go. I do think that it will be easier this semester, given that I have a much better idea of what I'm in for. After making my outlines, one thing that I know I need to do is go over the day's notes that evening. I went through so many notes that probably made sense as I was tying them, but after 3 months meant almost nothing to me. Reviewing my notes will help me to avoid this in the future, and will hopefully reinforce short and long term memory. Other than that, I'm hoping that the legal timekeeping I'm doing for my new job will spill over into my study time and make me more aware of how much time I waste. (I already know this much: I waste a lot of time). I'm welcome to suggestions and assvice in this area, and will probably check in on this goal more than any other.

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