For the past 10 years or so, I've always made a "mega list" of New Year's Resolutions. For example, in 2002, I made 102 micro-resolutions. In 2004, I made 104. I wasn't the only one...there's a whole community of people who break their resolutions down into categories and smaller, more manageable increments. I also created titles ("Get it Done in 2001") for each list, printed them out, and carried them with me in my day planner. I even highlighted each item as it was accomplished. Cleaning out some files (one of my resolutions) earlier this week in my desk, I came across 10 printed out lists from the past 10 years. Frankly, it just made me tired. If I stuck to the old pattern, this year, that means I would have to make 111 resolutions. Not going to happen.
I was thrilled to find these old lists, not just for entertainment value (in 2011, one of my resolutions was "don't leave the house without makeup." Another: "Watch less TV."), but also because I realized that they served a purpose, but it's one I no longer need. Every year, I included "read one book a week." Done. The wearing makeup thing? I now live in Austin. I go to the grocery store in my pajamas and often spend days without makeup. Another amusement: Every single list had "fall in love." I did that one year; it didn't quite work out. Also, I don't think that's the kind of thing you can put on a check list. The coolest thing is that some of the resolutions I thought were long shots actually happened: I published a book in 2008. I made a huge change in my life when I moved to Austin (just passed my one year anniversary here!). I got a literary agent and a publicist. I became my own publicist. I matured emotionally, have been able to let down some of those walls, and I tell people I love them all the time - whether they say it back or not. I finally read Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead (thanks to some prompting from Aleigh). And they did change my life, or at least the way I perceive things in my life.
For 2011, I've decided to keep my list in my head. Or maybe here. But there won't be 111. I want to live in the moment. I want to be happy (I am). I want to be more social (working on it). I want to find a day job that I love so much I'd do it for free. I want to lose 25 lbs. I want to finish my second book. I want to buy some plants. But since I live in Austin now, as a tribute, I'm going to go with the flow, add resolutions as they come up, and let the Universe point me in the right direction. Maybe this year, not having a printed, rigid list will be an asset. I'm calling my 2011 list "Subject to Change." Which reminds me: Add "stop trying to control every aspect of your life."