Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Resolutions Reviewed

I don't usually "do" new year's resolutions. I tend to feel that self-improvement is a gradual process, better approached as an ongoing goal rather than by setting artificial targets at the beginning of the year. Besides, I've watched too many people set ambitious and well-meaning resolutions, and spectacularly fail to keep them within the first few days.

But this year, for some reason, I really wanted to do something. Maybe I was in a goal-setting mood, since I was also busy making my Before 30 list (look out for an update on that in January). I decided there were a number of things that I wanted to aim to do every month: to cook something I hadn't made before, to do something crafty, and to have a weekend away.

One advantage of doing it this way was that, even if I failed at one of my goals during one month, the slate would automatically be wiped clean again the next month.

JanLondonEmbroidery: first few stitchesChocolate & marmalade cake (not blogged)
FebWarwickshire; LondonEmbroidery kitsVeggie omlette
MarDevonKnitted cardiganQuesadillas
AprFaroe IslandsMore embroideryBeanburgers
MayLancasterMore embroideryApple & raisin flapjacks
JulPrestonFlags embroideryDanish rum truffles
AugLancasterEmbroidering more flagsWinberry pie
SepCornwall; AmsterdamMore embroideryLemon drizzle cake
OctLeeds; OxfordBaby giftMincemeat
NovFranceN/A N/A
DecBathFelt decorationsMini florentines

Obviously, there are a couple of months where I didn't achieve many of these goals: June, due to being in Greenland for almost the entire month, and November, mostly due to NaNoWriMo (and a conference paper that happened to have the same deadline). Both of these seem like pretty solid "excuses" so I don't feel at all bad that other things fell by the wayside.

I really liked this way of doing resolutions, and they were good things to resolve, so I think I'll stick with more or less the same idea for 2011.

How about you...?


The Good Cook said...

I don't usually do resolutions either. I tend to make corrections or goals an ongoing thing... this coming year I am striving for peace and healing in my grief journey. I think that is all I will be able to handle.

Elizabeth Braun said...

Resolutions are not my cup of tea really, at least not New Year ones. I don't see the New Year, (which is but a man-made number and ultimately, meaningless), as being anything worth noting particularly, and I feel free to make commitments to self-development at any time. I think most of mine are really deadline-free.

My most important area for improvement, as it will affect virtually everything I do, will be health. If I can just get a decent portion of my strength back, then I can achieve so much more in every way.

Shame I didn't know you were in Leeds in Oct. I was there until we moved on 20th and we could have had a cuppa. Oh well, next time.=)

Emma said...

I think that's a really good idea. I try not to make resolutions either but in 2011 I'm determined to make more time available to spend with family and friends instead of being bogged down by work!!!

Debbie said...

I like this idea! I don't do resolutions either because I'm opposed to setting myself up for failure:)

Jeanne said...

I set goals, but they're just to remind me what direction and priorities I'm aiming at.

And it looks to me that you did pretty darn well!

Tabor said...

Resolutions usually mean changing something you don't like about yourself. These are goals which, to me, mean you want to continue to challenge your skills and experiences.

Ginny said...

This is a very cool way to do resolutions, and seems very do-able and not intimidating. Just really small, fun steps.

Alice Braga said...

Gradual, gentle, and flexible goal-setting sounds wise to me.

The new calendar year practically coincides with my birthday, so I feel an extra sense of newness and energy behind my intentions (I prefer that word to resolution). I usually create collages and vision maps from magazines and catalogs and refresh them each season.

It's fun to watch the images and phrases from the maps come to life in serendipitous ways.

Kazzy said...

I love these gradual goals. I would love to travel more as part of my own personal development.

Bibliomama said...

I tend to think New Year's resolutions can suck it too. I think at the moment I need to focus on finding a way to absorb some vitamin B12, so that 'resolution' would be not feeling the need to sleep eighteen hours a day or else be exhausted and weepy all the time. Along with making more hearty soups. :)

J. Rosemary Moss said...

Hmmm. I will probably make two or three broad resolutions for writing, but I think that will do it for me.

Anonymous said...

More fun for me and mine--that's my resolution!

Anonymous said...

Oh my - you achieved masses! Hope 2011 is just as good.

LatteJunkie said...


I am trying out an idea I found on The Happiness Project - where I compress all my aspirations into one word. Mine is "smaller". I'm posting my plan tonight and tomorrow I am going to refine it...

Eek I am so nervous... (mostly because now the entire world will know my weight)

Your way of doing it is awesome too and seems like fun!


A Cuban In London said...

Like you, I'm not into resolutions. I've got enough target-setting at work as it is. But once in a while I do like to set myself up for a challenge. Mine next year will be to read Ulysses, including the intro, which runs as long as the actual book itself. :-)

Happy New Year!

Greetings from London.

Bagman and Butler said...

Once again I had a perfect year for resolutions. About six years ago I made a resolution not to make any more resolutions and have kept it! Although the monthly approach is kind of cool. Things
I want to do before 30? At 64, I'd give anything to be able to make that resoloution. Except then I'd have to break my no resolution resolution.

Facing50Blog.com said...

I think this is a great idea. I tried to work on a theme...last year was 'creative' and i wrote my book and started my blog..this year...hmm not sure yet. Hubby wants to do 'calm' but since he moans about everything I can't see that lasting beyond 9am Jan 1st!
You achieved some great goals this year. I love the France N/A section :)
I came by not only to say hello but to thank you for following my blog. I really enjoy blogging and sharing my world but it is made so much more pleasurable by sharing my thoughts and experiences with super people such as yourself. When I first started this I had no idea that I would meet such wonderful people who I feel have become Blogworld 'friends'. So thank you for all your visits and your kind comments, all of which have served to encourage me further.
I'll take this opportunity to say thank you once again and to wish you the happiest of new years. May 2011 be a fabulous year for you and I hope you discover many opportunities and further rewarding goals.
My sincerest wishes.

becky at abbeystyle said...

I'm way past doing resolutions but am beginning to think about a "bucket list"...I have ONE thing on that list so far...
Have a wonderful Happy New Year, Rachel!

Stuff could always be worse said...

I feel the same way, gradual process??

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

Ah but the months go by so quickly! Hope you have a Happy New Year and that you get to check more things off of that before-30 list.

Taste of Beirut said...

I will try your method to apply my new year resolutions! the problem with me is I follow them for a few months and then I forget about them come summer!

Chef E said...

Your so organized :) I on the other hand cook and create on whims, and I never have resolutions...if you cannot get what you want done, then you must not want it...my philosophy :)

Happy Years my friend, many happy years!

Johanna GGG said...

I think it is often more interesting to see how new years resolutions pan out rather than just what the plan is - this is a great system!

Happy new year! Good luck with your resolutions this year

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