When I worked at Starbucks I learned that their philosophy for employee evaluation does not consist of strengths and weaknesses but rather strengths and "areas of opportunity." This semantic implication by re-framing weaknesses as areas in which improvement is completely possible is that weaknesses are only truly a fault if you choose to ignore them.
I am horrible at New Year's resolutions because I am horrible at change. However, a few years ago I heard a teacher say "You can't throw a bad habit down the stairs: You have to walk it down one step at a time." Ever since then this has been my philosophy.
In case you were wondering, I did not accomplish all my goals over Christmas break. I did read one of the three books (I left one in my office at work so it was MIA and the other I'm having a really hard time getting into). I did not clean out my closet and--in fact--we ended break with a house that was more dirty than when we started. I feel like I did continue my spiritual journey and had quite an emotional revelation. Oh, and I applied to grad school. Part of the reason I didn't get things done was because both the baby and I spent 4 days throwing up. I feel like that warrants some sympathy, or at least an extension.
However, I do kinda feel bad every year when I think about what resolution I want to undertake and end up defeated because I know I will never completely overhaul my life to loose weight and I know I would shrivel up and die with out caffeine, so on and so forth. But for the last 3 days I have been toying around with a different type of resolution and have come up with the following plan:
There are things in my life that I want to change, some trivial and some profound. In order to undertake these changes I am going to do two things:
1) Every months I will choose a problem to fix. Today I will pick my problem for February.
2) I will spend a month preparing and planning of the change. Then, when the new month starts I will have 30 days of planning and psychological preparation underway to better help me cope with the change.
The goals will be different, and I'm hoping that by technically be working on two things at once (one I'm doing and one I'm planning) that I will have enough balance to help me adjust.
Oh, and they will be called Areas of Opportunity so rightly framed as a problem to solve.
My problem to work on for February is that I eat horribly because I don't have time to cook. I have been reading freezer recipes for a while now and I will keep collecting them and thinking about were to store them, etc. February first I will have a list of things I want to try.
But, it's already January. And I am to impatient to not start now. So, in January I want to have a no TV/Movie month. The problem is I am an English teacher who doesn't read; I just wanted 2 seasons of Bones in a weekend and get 6 movies at a time from the library. Not only do I have too much to do this month to be spending time in front of the TV but I also have some books I really want to read. (Oh, and my sister and I are working on the logistics of an online book club...more details to come soon).
I currently have Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand to listen to on my 132489 hour drive to and from work (with 1/2 an inch of snow it took me an hour and a half each way today) and a book called Nerds: How Dorks, Dweebs, Techies, and Trekkies Can Save America and Why They Might Be Our Last Hope that I really want to read. It's about the anti-intellectualism stigma in America, not about nerd pride. And I need to read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and I want to finish Tap dancing in Zen. Basically, I need some quality book worm time.
I'll let you know how it goes.