Hello all you other young 'uns! To the rest of you: No, we're not getting off your lawn :)
Since we're officially in countdown mode (both for "days until 2008" and "days until no more Bush"), how could we NOT talk about New Year's Resolutions. That said, of course this isn't a topic unique to those of us under 35. And another caveat: I don't have all the answers here so you'll have to participate.
In my opinion, there are two kinds of resolutions, and one is easier than the other to accomplish. There are the resolutions that you have to do something ONCE and there are the resolutions that require a lifestyle change. I much prefer the former.
For example: I will go to the dentist in 2008. That's a great resolution. It's something I legitimately need to do, and it's not something I should be doing every day anyway. Twice in a year is enough (let's hope). In fact, if I had any intention of going to the dentist, I'd resolve to go in 2008.
Other resolutions of this variety include:
- I will clean out the clutter in my place and either sell it, give it away, or recycle it/compost it/throw it away.
- I will do an energy audit of my home and make it more energy efficient as I am able.
- I will donate to a cause I care about.
- I will fix my bike's flat tire that it's had for a year.
You get the idea.
Then there's the other kind of resolution:
- I will be more politically active in 2008.
- I will lose weight/exercise more/eat less.
- I will start dating.
- I will find a better job.
- I will keep my apartment cleaner.
OK, THERE'S a long list of things I don't want to do really. They are all work. Forget it! Of course, being more politically active in 2008 can't be too hard. It's a presidential year, compared to 2007 which wasn't even a midterm. Most likely just going to vote in November will make you accomplish that one.
That brings up another point though. Unless you make these resolutions a bit more specific, it should be easy enough to accomplish them by losing half a pound, going running once, making your bed on New Year's Day, and going on one date. So perhaps it would be better to say "I resolve to vacuum weekly" and "In 2008, I will work out 30 minutes 3 times a week."
One more caution here: It's a common pitfall to "accomplish" these sorts of resolutions by buying something in January (like a gym membership or a subscription to Match.com) that doesn't guarantee you'll follow through. Depending on who you are and what you enjoy doing, buying a gym membership doesn't mean you'll use it.
Rather than making a resolution, I'd prefer to make a lifestyle change. Perhaps it's the same thing but I don't feel like they have the same effect. In 2007, I got hooked on hiking. Prior to that, I was a fairly sedentary person. But hiking isn't something I must force myself to do. I enjoy it - and furthermore, it REALLY helps keep the headaches at bay. It didn't come about from a resolution of any sort, though. A fellow Kossack got me into it and I've been an addict ever since.
One last sort of resolution that works for me is the resolution to give something up. In 1997 I gave up french fries. A few of you saw me fall off the wagon at YearlyKos and on one other occasion, but I SWEAR I've been mostly good for the rest of the last decade. A few years later, I gave up fashion magazines. I decided they just made me want to buy things I can't afford and they make me feel worse about myself. Who needs them? I've been good about that resolution for a long time now.
Soo... what are my resolutions? In 2008, I will:
- Shred the rest of the phone book.
- Search and destroy all of the twist ties and rubber bands in this apartment.
- Figure out how to work a can opener.
Oh, wait. Sorry. Those are my cat's resolutions. She got on the laptop for a minute. Here are MY resolutions:
- Return to being vegan (I wasn't in 2007 and I have 20 lbs to show for it.)
- Find time to visit Madison, New York, and San Francisco.
- Make it extremely difficult for Pontificator to ever win at Scrabble (at least when I'm his opponent).
- Stop buying clothes I don't need, particularly when they aren't made from sustainable fibers like organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo.
- Go get a physical (a particularly bad problem when you work in electronic medical records... all of your friends and co-workers have access to your records, which means it's best to make sure there's nothing juicy to read in there.)
- Fix my bike tire... it's been flat for a year.
- Walk instead of drive when I'm going a mile or less away.
- MESS WITH TEXAS at Netroots Nation!
That's about all I've got to say on this topic, and I'm sure I'm no more of an expert than anyone else around here. So with that, let's throw the floor open to everyone! What are your resolutions for 2008 and how will you accomplish them?