The GGA Project -- Day #360 "On Goals, Sucking Less at Them"

I have never, ever been the kind of person to make New Year's Resolutions (hereafter referred to as NYRs).  I used to have this high-and-mighty kind of spiel about it, along the lines of saying that the coming of a new year is, at best, an arbitrary reason to set a goal or make a resolution.  Goll.  It appalls me sometimes to acknowledge how cynical I have been at times in my life.

I was thinking about this this other day (tangent coming, just for fair warning--as if one hasn't already come to expect them from me).  I always thought that people got naturally more jaded, closed-off, narrow-minded, and set-in-their-ways as they got older.  I think I was headed down that path.  But something switched in me in recent years.  I think if I had to put my finger on it I might say it had to do with becoming a mother.  I don't know how one begot the other, but I just feel I am much more accepting of people's varying life choices than I ever was before.  I am slower to feel shock or disbelief when presented with a lifestyle significantly disparate from my own.  And I'm also open to things as I never was before: music genres I used to poo-poo, cheesy self-help gurus and--in that same vein--new age concepts, corny jokes, theme parties, videos featuring animal mishaps or silly kids...just so many things I used to somehow imagine myself to be too cool for before.

Anyway, I can finally identify and admit that the real reason I never made NYRs was that I didn't believe I'd ever be able to keep them.  Hey, I've committed more than my fair share of stops-and-starts.  Easy solution: don't make them, then quietly dismiss all the people who were foolish enough to believe they'd stick to theirs.  Brilliant!

But something occurred to me the other day: I became a vegetarian in January of 2003.  If you never heard the story behind that decision, you might assume it was a NYR.  It wasn't, but it it did stick like I'd hope a resolution might.  I mean c'mon...that was almost 9 years ago!

And then, of course, there's the GGA.  Knowing myself and my track record, I mentally gave myself about 4 months, tops, on this project.  At the four-month mark, there were few enough people reading it (as opposed to the HANDFULS of people who are reading it now :P) that I might not have even felt that bad dropping it altogether.  And hey!  I had well fleshed out excuses ready to go--legal matters and work and, the ultimate trump card: Motherhood.  And yet here we are, 5 days to go and I feel pretty comfortable declaring this goal a success.  I mean I don't want to get too far ahead of myself here, but I'm sayin' I never dreamed I'd keep it up this long.  Granted, many, many days have been less-than-thrilling, but I've forgiven myself any shortcomings and have decided to focus on the days I felt taught me a lesson or enriched my year in any way, of which there are many.

The point I'm trying to make here is that I've now, finally, got a couple of examples of times in my life when I did see a goal through, at least for a significant period of time.  And so, fresh on the heels of that realization, I've decided to take my inkling of a desire to start the new year off with a goal in mind and run with it.  So much so that I'm starting the new year early, at least in this respect.

Today's New Activity: New Year's Resolving (Three Weeks Early)

I think part of what's intimidating to me about NYRs is that they start on this auspicious date and therefor get built up in my mind.  In fact I would venture that part of the credit for my sticking with vegetarianism and the GGA Project was that neither had anything to do with NYRs.  Yes, they were started around the new year, both, but without the pressure of a NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION.  It was with this in mind that I decided to embark on my new resolution without waiting for the new year.

I don't want to give it away (not that it's exciting...in fact it's like the opposite of exciting, though I can see getting excited about it in a really nerdy way), partially because I want to discuss it with a friend of mine--as well as my family--first.  I'm sure I'll be writing about it somewhat along the way.  But the point is, it starts today.

Bam.  Resolved.

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