The old year ends, the new one begins, and it’s really just an arbitrary day to start counting days all over again. It’s not a solstice or an equinox, any of which would make a lot more sense for starting a new reckoning. But this day it is and it has its psychological effect on us.
The new year is chance for each of us to reassess our lives and reinvent ourselves, typically in small ways, sometimes big, to improve our lives. It usually lasts about a month, these programs of self-improvement: quit smoking / exercise / eat healthy food / get finances under control.
My perennial resolutions:
- Exercise – what I’ve done to improve my chances: I joined the same gym that my coworkers use, so I have built-in exercise buddies, who have already established the habit of lunchtime exercise. I’m a sucker for peer pressure. It’s time I use that to my advantage
- Stay organized – I’m in the midst of my annual organization orgy, cleaning, de-cluttering and reorganizing various areas of the house. The challenge is to keep it up during the year. The trick is to deal with things as they happen – don’t just set the papers down with a pale promise to deal with them later: look at them now, digest, execute action as required, file. It takes time.
- Stay in touch with distant friends – yes, I’m talking about you. Dear friends scattered across the country, I am lazy. What would it kill to write a quick note? Again, it’s a time committment. But how much time is wasted on stupid things like television?
- Save more money – I’m disinclined to spend, but I’m not terribly disciplined about saving, either. I feel like I should be able to put away half my salary, which is awfully ambitious. I could just start with $100 a paycheck. Pay yourself first, the personal money management experts say.
- Keep better track of investments – I’ve got a regular IRA, Roth IRA, a few self-invested stocks, and a 401K at work. I have no idea what everything is doing. That means I have to learn some investing basics. The latest term I’ve learned is Asset Allocation. Now I have to find out what that means and how to employ it to my benefit.
- Keep house from getting cluttered – HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!
- GET MY BLACK BELT – this is the big one. And the one I’m most likely to accomplish in 2008.