Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

My love and study of history has a funny way of sneaking up on me. It doesn't surprise me that I love old things: books, antiques, art, etc. But then, every once in a while, I'll have a thought and it is directly from the 18th century. Now a days, there seems to be a common notion of accepting people as they are. You know, accept your friends or accept your family members exactly as they are complete with flaws and all. Sure, there is something to be said for this notion. For someone who is very aware of their flaws, like me, this concept is slightly appealing.

But way back when, people used to try and better themselves. George Washington copied etiquette rules in his personal book and mastered them in his youth. John Adams wrote constantly about his flaws and his struggles to conquer them. His son, John Quincy Adams was the same. I have a few thoughts about why this aspect of society has changed. One possible reason was the prevalence of religion. Religion tends to encouragement the improvement of self. Especially 18th and 19th century religion. Another possible option was the nature of society. The image people presented to the public was all-important. Your character was the basis for other peoples' judgments. You can see how there was incentive to make yourself better when so much was riding on your public image.

I think there is something to be said for self-improvement. While I'm not about to beat myself up for my mistakes or my shortcomings, I think we shouldn't just accept mediocrity. At least, I don't want to accept it in myself.

So, every year I make a few resolutions. Some I accomplish, at least partly, and others I fail every time (like exercise more). I thought if I wrote them down and sent them out into the world, I might feel more accountable to those goals and thus be more inspired to make them happen.


  1. Patience- it's really not my strong suit and although I've improved greatly in this area, I still have a ways to go.
  2. Communication- I think this talent is something that I can always improve.
  3. Stand up for myself. I don't always do this well and I end up walking away from a situation frustrated. I want to work on it.
  4. Spontaneity. I need more of it.
  5. Cook more. Just for myself, just because I like it.
  1. I need to use time more efficiently. Don't get me wrong, I work hard, but I need to use the time I work better so I can get more done.
  2. Continue to improve my writing and my ability to sit down and write. Always a struggle.
  1. Reorganize the Home Page to streamline the projects and make past posts more accessible.
  2. Keep up with my reading posts. I never do them and I think they are boring, but reading is such a huge part of my life and I want to find a way to better share that.
  3. Learn to take better pictures.
  1. Find/refinish a chair for my desk.
  2. Find/refinish a bench for the entry corner.
  3. Rug for living room.
  4. Art. This goal is really the big one. I desperately need to focus on some art for the living room/dining room, bedroom, etc.
  1. More fiction and classics.
  1. Learn to cook more healthily for one person.
  2. Cook more often.
  3. Eat better.
  4. Things I want to try: French Onion Soup, souffles, whole wheat or grain breads.
So yes, this list is slightly absurd for a New Year's Resolution list. It's long and ambitious and the likelihood of me accomplishing all of them is slim to none. However, writing it in one place is really helpful and inspires me to work on these goals. Even if I only check off one thing from every category, that would be quite an accomplishment, I think.

What are your New Year's Resolutions? Do you make new ones each year, or just transfer old ones from year to year? Or do you think they are totally bogus? I want to know, please share!


  1. Resolution #1: don't be pessimistic about new year's resolutions.

    Resolution #2: don't bother making any new year's resolutions, since I always fail to meet them anyw-- oh, crap.

    Resolution #3: comment on all of my wonderful girlfriend's blog posts here at YSL.


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