To Making New Year’s Resolutions, Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving, and Spreading the Love on Valentine’s Day!

NYE champagne toastAs I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. I firmly believe you can make positive life changes on any old day. If you want to eat healthier, then start with your next meal! If you want to drink less, order a seltzer and cranberry juice the next time you’re out with friends. As the adage goes (and no folks, Gandhi did not say this), be the change you wish to see in the world. Don’t wait until January 1st. It only takes a week or so for a new habit to become a routine. Personally, I prefer to start new routines on Mondays, but that’s just me.

While I don’t make formal resolutions, I do like to make crazy lists. The other day, I found myself writing down a bunch of things I’d like to focus on this new year. I guess you’d call it resolutions. Here’s what I scribbled down in my planner as unpacked from my Christmas vacation:

My "resolutions."
My “resolutions.”
Inside the Guggenheim.
Inside the Guggenheim.

The list has a lot of standard items like work out, clean, read, etc. However, two items really take precedence here as far as I’m concerned: going to the museum and getting off my phone. I live seven avenues from museum row and I’ve haven’t set foot inside the Met since 1990. (In my defense, it was closed the day I ventured over there). I’m so close to so many cultural gems and there’s no excuse to ignore them! Secondly, I need to beat my iPhone to smithereens with a sledgehammer  take some time to unplug from my phone. But, Instagram! Anyone that knows me knows my phone is always within arm’s reach and it’s getting to be a bit ridiculous. Even I’m annoyed. Baby steps!

Facebook status
Haters gonna hate.

I was having a conversation with a friend at work the other day about how many people in our Facebook feeds like to kindly remind us that we shouldn’t wait for New Year’s to make change, for Thanksgiving Day to give thanks, and for Valentine’s Day to express love. He pointed out, if that’s what you need to put a little positivity out there, then so be it! I couldn’t agree more. Just like some people need conversation starters to talk to people who intimidate them, others need the boost of the holidays to give thanks, share their love, and make resolutions.

So instead of hating on New Year’s resolutions, as I may or may not have done in years past, I fully support all of your goals for 2014! Who cares if you made them on January 1st (or in my case December 28th)? Let’s just make some positive changes in 2014 and spread the love!

I’ll see you at the museum.

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A New Year Brings New Things

I’ve never been one for making New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve always operated under the notion that if you want to make a change, then make it already. You don’t need to wait for a new year to begin in order to make positive life changes (or any life changes for that matter). In fact, I prefer to make life changes whenever I feel so inclined. If that happens around the time of a new year, then it is only a matter of coincidence.

While I’ve never really made formal New Year’s Resolutions, I have often made lists titled “Things I Must Do.” These lists functioned as big ideas that when completed would contribute to my overall quality of life. Tasks such as “be outside,” “go to new restaurants,” get my driver’s license,” “buy good photography to hang up,” “watch classic ’80s films, “read poetry suggested by my professor,” “buy a Mates of State album” were all examples of things that I felt compelled to do in order to bring myself to the next level of awesomeness -at-life.

Now that it is 2012 and many things still remain on my “Things I Must Do” list, I’ve opted for a slightly different approach at accomplishing these “big idea tasks.” Instead of debating back and forth and spending hours agonizing over  what to do next, I’ve simply picked something I’ve always wanted to do and made that my number one priority. For me, that something is moving to New York City. So instead of talking about taking action, I took action and will be moving there next month.  Though this change coincides a little with the start of a new year, the passing of another year has only signified to me that I don’t want any more time to pass without making a move.

So, here’s to 2012! I hope that before the year’s end, you can accomplish some of your “big idea tasks.” Whenever you feel so inclined, of course.

Not Your Average To-Do List: 6 Great Lists I’ve Made

I’ve always been a list person, but not in the traditional sense. I’m not the type of person who makes extensive daily to-do lists (although I tried to be sophomore year of college).  When I think of something I want to remember, whether it is a task to complete or an interesting idea to write about, I like to scrawl down in list form.  Over the years, I’ve written down some pretty interesting lists and since I’ve always been a journal writer, I still have some of these lists. Since I’ve been sorting through my things lately to prepare for a move, I was easily sidetracked by a stack of journals and notebooks on my bookshelf.  Here’s a look at some of the better lists I’ve made thus far:

People/Things/Traits that I Hate or Piss Me Offcompiled 03/98 as a freshman in high school. I made this list with a friend and the entire thing was 16 pages long. We made it for entertainment purposes so that we’d have something to laugh about in Biology. Here are some highlights:

  1. homework
  2. health class
  3. people who try to be matchmakers
  4. video discs
  5. the feeling that there isn’t enough time in a day
  6. dead bird guts
  7. cleaning out the swim bus after a swim meet
  8. running out of cookies
  9. backstroke, it was my best stroke
  10. scantron

Secret Locations of Important Documentscompiled 06/99 while on a class trip to France for three weeks between 10th and 11th grade.

  1. Extra francs in red binder pocket.
  2. Used film in side pocket of swim bag.
  3. Travelers checks in journal from Adriane.
  4. American dollars in p. 63 of Summer by Edith Wharton.

Crazy Antics to Do compiled in the Fall of 2002, while a sophomore in college.

  1. Toilet paper [address of student house #1] and [address of student house #2]
  2. Have a kegger in our room.

Thoughts on a Day Off compiled 6/14/07 while living in Boston.

  1. Stop the drilling.
  2. It’s the time to get sappy over bad TV.
  3. Make a British mix CD.
  4. Have a dance party to drown out the drilling.
  5. Is it too early to have a beer?

List of Things to Do Today compiled 6/30/07 when some guests were visiting Boston, some for the first time. Wanted them to experience the full culture of Boston.

  1. Eat New England Clam Chowder.
  2. Wine in a box.
  3. Eat Mike’s Pastry.
  4. Chill in the North End.
  5. See a 3 cornered hat.
  6. Tag our names.
  7. Yell in Faneuil Hall.
  8.  Go to the graveyard and find our birthday buddies.

Facts About Pigs– compiled 10/11/07 after going to the Fryeburg Fair in Maine and seeing all the livestock.

  1.  4th smartest animals.
  2. Actually really clean; roll in mud because they don’t have sweat glands.
  3. Make good pets because they don’t shed.

If you’re not a list person, I suggest you start. Instead of recording things you have to do such as: 1) laundry 2) pay rent 3) buy groceries, jot down things you wish you could do: 1)sleep in until noon 2) buy a yacht 3) drink Mickey’s on yacht. The second kind of list, while not always the most practical, is much more fun to make.