by Diana La Femina, Head Editor, INALJ South Carolina
New Year’s Resolutions are beautiful things. They’re full of hope and optimism. We make lofty goals and envision our success. And then February rolls around, and most people look back at their resolutions and see failure in one short month.
Perhaps your resolution was all-or-nothing, perhaps it was out of reach, or perhaps you were just so exhausted from the holidays that you crashed and didn’t have the energy to work towards anything. Regardless, those resolutions are now bitter memories. (Unless you’ve actually stuck to your resolutions, in which case congratulations! You’re far better at setting achievable goals than I.)
So I’m making a call for February Resolutions. Let’s make resolutions for the New Year (slightly delayed) that are a bit more realistic, and that take obstacles into account. Here are mine:
- I’m going to do one thing every week to help my career (working on my portfolio [which I hope to make into a future blog post], sending out emails, etc.).
- I’m going to read three articles every week relating to libraries and librarianship.
- Once a month I’m going to take a day and be as lazy or self-indulgent as I want; no guilt over staying in my pyjamas all day, or spending money to get my hair cut or see a movie.
- I’m going to read one book per month (I’ve had NO TIME to read since I started my job in March, and it’s killing me a little inside every day).
- Once every month or two I’m going to volunteer somewhere in some way that has nothing to do with my career.
- I’m going to aim to eat as healthy as I can, meal plan, and exercise; not to lose weight or deprive myself, but to feel as healthy as I can manage.
These are all ideals and things for me to aspire to. I will inevitably slip up from time to time, but there’s no point in putting myself down for it. Things happen and get in the way, but the important thing is to look to your goals as ideals. They’re not practical steps to get somewhere, nor should they be. It’s the whole “shoot for the moon and if you fail you’ll still be amongst the stars” thing. (Which always annoyed me, by the way, because astronomically speaking stars are light years further from us than the moon, but the thought is pretty.) If you aim for these goals and be gentle with yourself you’ll improve regardless of whether you achieve your goals or not. But they shouldn’t be things that you MUST do. None of this, “I’ll lose 20 lbs by March 1st” or anything. If the goal is quantifiable then it should be something realistic.