Typical New Year’s resolutions tend to be sweeping proclamations intended to eliminate behavior that is quite clearly unhealthy.
Cut out carbs. Get off your ass and join a gym. Quit smoking crack. Stop screwing your neighbor’s wife. That kind of thing.
I’m pleased to say that I’ve already given up the vast majority of habits that have historically hindered my progress in the areas of physical, emotional and spiritual health. I’m far from perfect, but I am a hell of a lot closer than ever before. I might even go so far as to say I am pretty damn OK.
Sure, at the dawn of 2013, I made a list of tangible, attainable goals that would shape what I wanted my life to look like for that year (related to work, working out, social activities, etc.). But my official “resolutions” centered on ways I could become a better person. Core work, so to speak.
As I sat down to write what I want for myself in 2014, I looked back at my post from this time last year. Turns out I did a decent job of following the roadmap I laid out for myself back then.
I still have a couple of (figurative) accounts open that pay out more than they take in, but the balance sheets are a little more, er ... balanced. Other than that, I have been successfully paving my own road, giving myself the benefit of the doubt, nourishing a positive attitude and frequently getting out and about in this big ol' world.
I plan to keep on keepin' on in the aforementioned vein for 2014 and beyond. I’ve also got some new, specific goals for myself as far as big-picture shizz I want to accomplish, including what I want my freelance writing and media consulting business to look like in its second year.
Another of my big-pic goals is to finally train my dogs to stop barking and nipping at strangers. I. Am. Over. It.
Years ago – before the pups – I loved to have people over for informal parties at my house, but I have avoided doing that in recent years because of the collective neuroses of my widdle furry assholes. I know it’s my own fault for not doing a better job of socializing them before now, but all I can do at this point is try to improve the situation I’ve put myself in.
I read about “clicker” training online, so I bought some clickers (see picture above) the last time I was in Feeder’s Supply. So far, the startling noise these little bastards make is really making an impression on my dogs. It immediately stops their bad behavior, as long as I address it right when it happens. I am very hopeful this method is going to work where others did not. I am also committed to making a change this time. For realz. Enough is enough.
But I digress.
As for actual “resolutions,” I’m not writing an official list this year. Nope. Instead, I’m simply going to catalog a few things I’d kinda like to do in the coming year.
If they happen, great. But if not, there’s always 2015. Or 2016. The world will not come to an end if other priorities get in the way and I have to put them off. They are “wants” and not “needs.” What a luxury it is to say that!
First, I would like to plan one trip in 2014. With my business still in its infancy and my debts still a little higher than I would like, one trip is all I can realistically afford in the upcoming year.
For this trip, I would like to go to New York City with some girlfriends. I want to shop, eat, see some of the major sights, and maybe visit a club or two. And, by God, I want to sit in the studio audience when Jimmy Fallon takes over “The Tonight Show” and brings it back to The Big Apple.
Next, I want to take dance lessons, including salsa, tango, cha cha, and even hip-hop. And I don’t want to learn from some hack who offers lessons at 9 p.m. at a club on a weeknight. I want professional, high-quality instruction. Unfortunately, that shit is expensive. I either need to save up or find a truly excellent Groupon. Or both.
Last, it would be nice to check off one major home improvement in 2014. I’m lucky I don’t have any “musts” in that category. In the past three years, I have purchased both a new roof and HVAC system, which are things you can’t really do without when they go kaput. But everything else in my Highlands bungalow is in working order, if not top form.
That said, my driveway is in usable shape, but it’s not as smooth or attractive as it could be. It sure would be nice to have it resurfaced in 2014. That won’t be a cheap endeavor, so it may not happen. But a girl can dream, can’t she?
(Dreaming about asphalt sure is sexy, right? God, I am SO middle aged.)
So, yeah. Those are a few things I think it would be nice to do at some point during this coming year. I’m pretty hopeful that I will be able to check off at least one of the three in relatively short order.
I am also pretty jazzed about 2014 in general. I don’t know why — maybe it’s simply positive thinking — but something tells me it’s gonna be a great year on several of fronts. And not just for me — for a lot of people I love.
Here's to a fresh start. Cheers!
About Amy Higgs
A former newspaper columnist, Amy takes her random, slice-of-life stories to the web. After 10 years, she's still just saying.