2021 New Year’s Resolutions
It’s the first business day of the year. In our family, this is the day for New Year’s Resolutions. It gives me a few days to mull over what is possible versus what is probable and figure out what my approach to resolutions will be.
Last year, I didn’t make resolutions. It felt pretty great to let myself off the self-improvement hook, especially since the pandemic would have blown them all the pieces anyway. I thought about skipping them this year too but decided to take a different approach than I have in the past. Instead of aiming for relentless perfection or trying to develop a skill I just don’t have (looking at you, guitar in the corner), I decided to tackle some longer-term plans that have discrete steps. Most of them, at least.
- Make my office usable and comfortable: I have an office separate from my house which I use for my Zoom hearings and occasionally for writing. It has a desk and a little couch but I haven’t hung art or dealt with the banker’s boxes of papers and books that are lying around. That has to change this year. I want my office to be a place where I can get away and be effective or even just alone. Hang art, get a bookshelf.
- Hire an assistant: This is for my work, too. There are several parts of my job that I find annoying which could be easily off-loaded and it would make me happier. I’d discussed hiring someone part-time with a colleague a couple of years ago (he’s in the same boat) and we didn’t follow through because it seemed like a hassle. Now, it’s a bigger hassle to not have help, and I’m going to follow through on this.
- Be careful about my next volunteer commitment: I’m the president of the PTA at my kids’ school. It’s been quite a year, as you might imagine, and I don’t regret volunteering for this role at all. But my term is up in July, and I want to be very careful that I don’t dive right into some other time-intensive commitment. I jumped from the Oakland Police Commission to the PTA and want to take a breather before my next volunteer job to make sure I understand why I am doing it and what the commitment is.
- Find a creative social outlet: This probably means a writing group but I’m not sure. I just know that it’s hard to sustain creative efforts without some support from other folks who are doing creative stuff and the pandemic reinforced that. I just know that I need to add a social component to my writing/creative side.
- Make another date night calendar: For Christmas in 2019, my husband gave me a calendar that had date nights already scheduled, two per month. We kept the vast majority of those dates, even in lockdown, and it was a high point of the year. Mostly, we couldn’t go out, so we’d make a quick dinner for the kids and then order in something nice, light candles, and have a cocktail on the front porch before we ate. It was lovely. I’m definitely doing it again this year.
- I am going to set an exercise goal of some kind. I’d like it to be 300 minutes a week because I read an article that said you’d need to exercise that much to lose weight. Realistically, that’s probably insane and is also an end-run around my prohibition on dieting. But my exercise habits fell into disarray last year and it took a toll on my mental health. At this point, I am going to go back to tracking my exercise. That alone might keep me on track. After a few weeks, I’ll see whether there’s a pattern that emerges and set that as the goal.
- I’m creating a long-term intention that I am putting out into the world. I want a beach house. It has been a long term goal of mine for years and years, and I am saying it out loud this year so that it can guide my spending, saving, lobbying, etc.
So there you go. I will check back in later in the year to see how things are going. Happy New Year to you, and may your long-term intention come true in 2021!