Tag Archives: New Years Resolutions

Why Now?

Why make goals/resolutions/focal points (whatever you want to title them) for the new year? I’ve never done it in 35 years and I’m moderately okay. I think I’ve said I was going to stop biting my nails most of my life or “be a better person” (whatever that means). Mostly my resolutions revolve around vague concepts that are so expansive I know I won’t even remember them by February. This year, I came back from my Christmas excursions ready and focused on doing something. Something different.

It started with a few vague goals: watch an indie film for every mainstream film, read more, write more, maintain work/life balance. Then I bucked my own New Year’s tradition and sat down for a few hours and flushed out my life into categories, which I then broke down into priorities and strengths and weaknesses ( I realize the ridicule that will ensue after this confession ). I was still unmotivated to actually change. I flushed out each category recognizing opportunity and tying each goal to a personal trait that I wanted to work on. Then I broke it down in a bulleted list by month. January looks something like this:

  • stop biting nails (check)
  • publish blog (check)
  • read Mary Karr’s “The Liar’s Club” (partial check)
  • attend a poetry reading (check)
  • find your “me time” spot (check, bless you Teaism)
  • get a library card (check)
  • submit to Breadloaf again (partial check)
  • conceptualize my literary career (partial check)

And hence, my intensity that my poor friend Elizabeth has had to endure everyday on phone calls since 1/1/13. I realize we are only 24 days in, but I envision a year of progress, a year of change. I’m somewhat destined for complacency and if I’m not careful it will become entirely too comfortable like my 2002 Steve Madden boots that have a hole in the sole that I refuse to get rid of. Perhaps in February I can work on replacing those. So here’s to a year of progress and making things happen instead of merely awaiting their arrival.

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Jeffrey Levine

poetry, publishing, and mentoring

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