I despise goals and resolutions partly because I feel that their main purpose is to set one up for failure. Too many times I have been compelled to make goals that I could not meet, either at church or at school, and every time, I felt disappointment when I was unable to meet those goals. These goals have fallen into two distinct categories: the quantifiable and the unquantifiable.
The quantifiable goals have a explicit or implied numerical value to be achieved. I.e. exercise three times a week, read every day, don't ever say anything bad ever again. I feel like these goals are very rigid and inflexible. They don't take into account the occasional slip up or busy day. I always feel like a student with goals like this. Like my grade will be tallied at the end of the year and I will find that I am either an A or a C minus student. Who wants that?
Then there are the unmeasurable goals: be a better person, be nicer, have more faith. How can you achieve success? How can you tell if your faith has increased, or if you are a nicer, better person than you were a week/month/year ago? You have nothing concrete to measure your growth against.
Recently however, my attitude towards goals and resolutions have changed. Perhaps, thought I, there is a middle ground somewhere--one where I don't feel like I am being graded or judged but which also has measurable success. Plus, I have enjoyed following the achievements of various bloggers over the coarse of the year and would like to see similar success for myself. One particular idea I liked is that of a bucket list (thanks Melanie!)--an informal list of things I would like to see happen this year. The items can be as serious or as frivolous as I choose. This is an idea I feel like I can get behind.
In making this list, I am also giving myself permission not to take myself so seriously. If something on the list doesn't happen, I will not allow myself to feel like a failure.
Lady Susan's 2010 Bucket List
1. Do some more canning.
Last year I canned apples and applesauce. I definitely want to repeat that. However, I would like to break out into pickles, tomatoes, and perhaps some beans.
2. Plant and then actually tend a garden.
We planted a garden last year as well. However, I then became pregnant with Baby F here. Suddenly I didn't have the energy to get dressed let alone tend to any growing produce. The garden was left to grow higgledy-piggledy.
3. Be better about exercising pre-pregnancy.
This has been really spotty. Perhaps that is just the name of the game. However, I would really like to be better about this. Here I am going to put down an actual number. I would like to exercise at least 4 days out of the week.
4. Loose pregnancy weight.
I think this is pretty self-explanatory.
5. Get back to running after pregnancy--consistently running three miles.
6. Have a baby.
I think I will be really successful with this one.
7. Find and have social interaction once I have a baby.
I know this might be difficult for me--breaking out of my comfort zone and meeting new people. However, I think it will also be really important for both me and baby.
8. Make a quilt for our bed.
We desperately need one. I have been putting off starting it because I had to finish the shades!
9. Be more on top of birthdays and the like.
I am horrible at this. I would like to a) remember birthdays on time and b) be more thoughtful in my gifts.
10. Play the tourist at home.
Perhaps once a quarter, or at least a couple of times this year, I would like to go out with Mr. F. and explore the area: historical sites, the big city, etc.