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Friday, January 7, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

I know it's a little late, but I thought I'd post about those tricky beasts, New Year's resolutions. There's an art to them, you see. You want to them to stretch you, to propel you further than you've managed to go before--but you also want them to be achievable. Quick hint: don't word them like "I'll NEVER do x and such" or "I'll do x and such every single day!" Unless you were already working hard on that goal, you're not going to be able to make such a drastic, complete switch.

But it's just as dangerous to word your resolution too vaguely. "I'll try to do x and such more." More than what? "More" could mean once, or it could mean three times a week. Be specific, but reasonable.

My goals are these: I will work toward being able to swim a mile three times a week by February 15th. I will take advantage of living in Austin by going out once a week (to a bar, to listen to live music, to take a class, to a museum, etc) and I will read fifty books this year.

That last one is my favorite! I was a voracious reader long before I was a writer, and I miss it. The activities are so closely linked in my head; I tend to feel like if I'm reading, I'm slacking, and should be using that time to write. But reading is actually a part of writing--it's how I expand my vocabulary, not just of word definitions, but of ideas and emotions and personality traits and settings.

Plus, I just plain love to read.

So I'm off to a good start, beginning with AS ALWAYS, JULIA, the collected letters of Julia Child and her first publishing contact and dear friend, Avis DeVoto. I'm about a quarter of the way through it, and it's every bit as charming as you think it is. I'd be glad for some book recommendations from all of you! I'll ask again, don't worry. And I plan to keep track of my progress right here on this blog, so you can all help keep me honest!

What were your New Year's resolutions this year?


Happy New Year Louisa.

Just saw a cute sign on the way home:
New Year's resolutions are in one year and out the other LOL.

Mine was always the same.
I used to make the same resolution every year - lose weight & get in shape. I play tennis regularly. I'm pretty good at it, I have fun & it makes me happy even tho I'm still not thin.

I just try to be a decent human every day. I like the line from Reece Witherspoon's Oscar acceptance speech: "I'm just trying to matter and live a good life". No calendar required.

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