When I was young and idealistic (a very long time ago admittedly), I was very serious about New Year resolutions. Come New Year's Eve, I would be ready with my list of good habits to adopt in the coming year - read more books, eat less junk, exercise, leave work before sunset... the standard stuff. Often in the heat of the moment, January would find me at the local gym, forking over huge sums of money for an annual membership, fueled by the power of my resolutions. The end result was predictable - I would make it to the gym a few times in the months of January and February and then spend the rest of the year suffering the husband's snide remarks about how that money could have been more gainfully used and how gyms depend on exactly my type of member for their profitability. Bah!
The blog has been a victim to the same kind of annual optimism. Every year, I resolve to post more often. Not for any other reason but because I can. I cannot even begin to count the number of posts that I have written in my head, which never saw the light of day. Even now, I can think offhand of at least three post-worthy topics that have been whirling around in my head this week. But somehow, I just never seem to get around to it. For a start, I spend a lot of my recreational time on the net reading blogs and other websites. When I am done with that, I am usually out of time. Or enthusiasm. And when I do get around to a posting frame of mind, I suddenly develop writer's block and cannot summon to mind any of the ideas that were till then at the tip of my tongue (or fingers) or if I can, their due date is long past - like the Diwali post that never got written this year.
So, somewhere along the way I just gave up on resolutions, deciding that they were quite simply not my cup of tea. It was clearly not the ideal situation since the habits I wanted to change still lingered and irked me no end but that was better than living with the disappointment of underachievement.
And then last Friday night, I had an epiphany. Why did resolutions have to be made on New Year's Day, with the whole year spreading out in front of one's eyes in a daunting fashion? At work, one learnt that targets must have stretch in them but they must appear to be within reach. Well, planning to ditch a habit that has plagued you for ages at one shot and sustaining that over 365 days certainly doesn't sound realistic, does it?
So here's my idea. I am going to do December resolutions. I am going to pick two habits that I want to change and then go after them hammer and tongs for a month. Just one, measly month - how hard can that be, right? And then if I can sustain it through December, we'll see about taking on 2011.
So without much further ado, here are my resolutions for December 2010:
1. I will get back to exercising.
Tarana is 14 months old now and there's really no justifiable reason for me to procrastinate any further. I think one of the reasons I have not yet done this, other than pure laziness of course, is the inconsistent daily schedule that I live by these days. On some days I have Tarana's physiotherapy, on other days there is Ayaan's swimming and skating classes. Then are are feed times, meals, naptimes, bedtime, park time... The result: there is not a single time slot that I can commit to on an almost-daily basis.
And then I had a eureka moment. Why must I commit to one activity or time slot? It would probably be a lot easier, not to mention more interesting, to mix things up. So here's the plan.
- On weekends, I will swim. The pool hours usually clash with Ayaan's morning school routine and/or Tarana's physio. But on weekends, there is no school routine and usually no physio.
- I went to my favourite exercise studio, one I frequented before I got pregnant, and signed up. I started today and am hoping to hit at least two, if not three, of their high-intensity work-out classes every week.
- On the days Ayaan has his skating class, I am going to walk (briskly, no less). There is a stretch of road just outside the class and so instead of lounging around with a book, I am going to wear my sneakers and walk while he skates.
2. I will blog more
If I have an idea for a post, I am going to blog it before I lose it. I am not a big fan of regimented blogging so I don't want to make a NaBloPoMo type of commitment. I have enjoyed blogging so far because it is something I like to do. I don't want to turn it into something I have to do.
So the target here is somewhat internal but I am suddenly feeling all charged up about this and if you notice, this is my third post in less than a week - I usually write that many in a good month - so I have a good feeling about this.
Since we are off on a 10-day jaunt on 20th, it 's actually not even going to be a month. But I read somewhere that it takes just 21 days of sustained effort to change a habit, so maybe I'm on to something? Time will tell... :)