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Sunday, January 01, 2017

New Year's Resolutions I'll Actually Keep

Every Jan. 1, I make a list of resolutions, goals, aspirations that I plan to achieve in the coming year. Like almost every else, by Feb. 1, I've forgotten most of what I planned to do to make my life better, healthier or more fulfilling.

So this year my list is more realistic -- and achievable.

1. Drink more wine. Drink more margaritas. Drink more Oregon beer. Who am I kidding? My goal is to drink more. Not that I drink a lot now, or even very often. But often when I do drink, it involves fun gatherings. So yep, I plan to drink more, which leads me to my second goal for the year.

2. Get together with friends more often. Whether I entertain more at our place or just meet friends for dinner, drinks, coffee or just to "hang out." I need to socialize more. People who know me might not realize that social gatherings are often hard for me. I have homebody tendencies that I have to fight off, otherwise, hermit might be a term used to describe me.

3. Travel more. Take road trips, get on a plane, and go somewhere -- not just for work meetings  And, when I do travel for work, I need to incorporate a day before or after to actually see something outside of my hotel room and the meeting space.

4. Leave the U.S. at least once this year. I love my country. There's so much to see and explore. But it's time to let go and visit other places as well. Heck, I'm within driving distance of two other countries, so no excuses.

5. Go outside more. I live in Oregon now and at first I didn't understand the rabid dedication to everything outdoors here. Now I get it. Not only is it extremely beautiful in most of the state, but when you get a lot of rain and clouds the minute the sun comes out, you want to run outside and soak up all the vitamin D you can.

6. Be kinder. Remember the old adage - if you don't have anything nice to say...don't say anything at all. I'm a fairly nice person, I can count on one hand all the people I've ever met that I could say I truly did not like but I plan to be more thoughtful in everything I do. Life is too short to go around hurting people.

7. Don't put up with cranky people. If you're talking to me and being cranky, I might just walk away. A few years ago, I was working with a P.R. firm that hired a photographer to shoot photos of some of the oldest resident at a nursing home. Each photo had the subject's life motto. One of my favorites has always been the photo of an almost 100-year-old woman and her basketball. Her motto: I don't have time for cranky people.

8. Be a writer. I've always identified myself as such even though I don't make my living as a writer anymore. I still get the small royalty checks every now and then, but it's been a while since I thought of myself as a writer before all else. This past November, I spent it writing furiously for National Novel Writing Month. I finished the book, and now am working on the rewrite. During the month, I attended a "write-in" at a local restaurant. I sat there with my computer with complete strangers, not really talking, just writing. We had this "thing" in common. I loved it. So this year, I plan to write more, enter contests, meet other writers, take workshops and just BE a writer.

All the other usual stuff like getting healthy, exercising more or saving money -- well, those are goals we should have all the time. So those things are not on this list. This is an easy, achievable "to-do list."

I should add one more thing: I plan to swear more this year. I won't elaborate. But I'm guessing I'll keep that one for sure. Maybe I'll even learn some swear words in a different language.