Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year!

Happy New Year 2013!  Man, these 20XX numbers still look like science fiction to me....

I lived in Japan during my formative years, the ones immediately after college.  New Year's there is a big deal:  you go to a shrine at midnight, toss in money and pray for a good year, then you try to find a hot canned drink vending machine that isn't empty at 2 AM because it's fricking freezing, Mr. Bigglesworth, then you take the train home at 4 in the morning, because it's the only time they run all night. 

The next day, you watch old foreign movies dubbed into Japanese or whichever 47 Loyal Ronin TV movie was on that year while you eat clementines and address your New Year's cards. 

New Year's is not as big of a deal in the US, maybe because most people are exhausted from Christmas.  But we do have a tradition of resolutions here, as if an arbitrary "clean slate" date will somehow kick us into more motivation than we had all last year.

Last year I had an epiphany about behavior modification:  just because you fail at something doesn't mean you have to give up even trying to do it.

Example:  I really need a to-do list.  I used one when preparing for my arangetram, then I stopped looking at it.  But that doesn't mean I can never look at it again.  I just need to try to remember to use it more often.  Maybe it will eventually become a habit.

Same with New Year's resolutions.  Just because you go to the gym the first week in January and then skip it the second week doesn't mean you have to stop going the rest of the year.  Admit you dropped the ball, then pick it up again and keep playing.  That's what I'm going to do with the following resolutions:

Organize time better (fit in revising as well as writing)
Read more books
Clean the house
Continue to get rid of stuff

I plan to keep those resolutions by spending less time on the web.  I don't need to read EVERY comment on EVERY post at Joe.My.God.

What are your resolutions, and more importantly, how do you plan to keep them?

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