New year, new goals

I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions.  I feel like people make them with the best of intentions while also under pressure to make them because “everyone” makes them.  I recently watched a segment on the Today show about how most people who make New Year’s resolutions will break them by January 17.  I do not usually watch the Today show, but it airs at 16:00 here, so every so often, I channel surf and catch it.  This piece caught my attention, because it highlighted on the impracticality of these resolutions, especially if we know as a society that we will break them in less than a month.  It only cemented my own opinion of this ritual.

On the other hand, I am a fan of goals for a new year.  Goals are not as scary as resolutions.  If you are striving for a goal, it is not as devastating if you do not achieve said goal.  You aim for it, you strive for it, you reach for it, etc. but if you do not accomplish it, that’s okay.  It is a goal, not a mandate.  The start of a new year is an ideal time to establish new goals for oneself.  It provides a definitive timeline – 365 days – and every year feels like a fresh start.  So every year, I try to set some goals for that year.  Whether or not I accomplish these goals is another matter.  For the year 2014, I have set these goals for myself:

1)  read 140 books this year.  Andy said that this is too large a number, and I admit that it is ambitious.  However, I read ridiculously fast and all the time.  I really do.  I have already started a list of the books that I own but have not read (I accumulated quite a bit of them while in school) and am already in the middle of 3 books (I read more than one book at a time.  Seems complicated, but it’s how I work).

2)  make Anna Karenina one of those books that I read.  Every year, the same goal.  Still working on it.

3)  travel.  Travel a lot.  This year’s goal destinations are London, Amsterdam, the Brussels Beer festival, Oktoberfest, Vienna, Berlin, and the world’s largest book fair in Frankfurt.

4)  learn conversational German, i.e. enough to hold a generic conversation.

5)  finish baby clothes quilt.  It’s been a long project at around 6 years running, but I would really like to work more on it.  Then I can work on Andy’s t-shirt quilt that I promised him…2 years ago.

Not too many goals for the year, but that is not the point.  Do you make New Year’s resolutions or goals?  What are yours?

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