Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 New Year's Resolution Review - Don't Look Back in Anger

Our annual American ritual - the New Year's resolution list - is barreling down upon us as I sit here at the computer in my underwear. Not only is it time to decide what you'll resolve to do in 2009, but also, to take a look back at 2008. How successful were you? Did you achieve all of your goals? Most of your goals? Any of your goals?

I admit that I forgot many of this past year's resolutions before January was out. And others were just ridiculous to even consider in the first place (#47 - become king of any African nation).

But if you actually wrote down any of your resolutions, or preserved them for posterity on a website, it's fun to see what the hell you were thinking a year ago. Luckily, I did indeed write down some of my resolutions back in early January - see here. And after reviewing the list, I think it's safe to say that 2008 was only a partial failure.

For example, 2008 resolution #1 was "spend more quality time with my fantasy sports teams." Done and done. This resolution was a rousing success - culminating in this past week's fantasy football championship victory in my "people from work league." I added a football team and a baseball team to my stable - winning said baseball championship in my "people I don't know personally, but definitely know more about baseball than them league."

So I'm giving myself a little pat on the back for resolution #1. Unfortunately, it's pretty much downhill from there.

Did I #9 - "eat more fruit," and #10 - "kick more ass?"

Well yeah. Of course I did. That's the Mill's modus operandi right there. Same thing for 2009 and beyond.

But what about #8 - "more street luge," or #16 - "learn to speak Chinese?"

Those didn't seem to pan out. At all. I didn't even crack a book on the fundamentals of street luge, or listen to a single podcast on how to speak Chinese.

Sure, I guess you could say I was #5 - "courteous to animals," and #6 - "kind to the elderly." Or vice-versa.

I never did get around to #3 - "fix that damn squeaky door hinge."

As you can see, 2008 was truly a mixed bag. But I'm not sure how one can avoid that type of result. My philosophy has always been to resolve to do as many things as you can possibly think of - your chance of at least some modest success is much higher that way, compared with only resolving to solve world hunger.

For example, my #23 - "replace watch battery," was a rather easy one. It took me nearly 10 months, but I was able to check that one off the list before 2008 was history.

Particularly satisfying to check this one off the list in mid-October.

Now it's time to look ahead. I'm compiling an extensive list of resolutions, ranging from the simple (wash hands daily), to the difficult (write a young-adult novel), to the supernatural (speak to the dead). Of course, I'll be posting this in the near future, once I've come up with about 50 more resolutions.

Let me know how your 2008 resolutions ended up. Hopefully, you can make me feel better about myself through tales of your personal failures in 2008.

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Anonymous said...

I do not make any new years resolutions. That way I am sure of not braking those stupid ideas, so while everyone else is feeling bad about breaking their resolutions by the middle of January, I feel just fine thank you.
Your Philly fanatic Lombard St BIG FAN.

The Mill said...

Good thinking. It's a sure-fire way to avoid disappointment. Bottle those bad feelings and store them away somewhere deep inside. They will likely explode in a spectacular display of violence at some point, but that's a chance you have to be willing to take.