One month in.

It seems I again find myself in the proverbial “day late, dollar short” dilemma. Certainly, by following my budget, I have not truly been short on dollars, but my topic, though planned weeks in advance, is coming a bit after many similar articles. Still, it helps me to be personally introspective. If anyone happens to read this, I will ask you to do the same. How many Resolutions have we made? How many did we intend to keep? How many have we actually made progress on and/or stuck with thus far?

I’m having a harder time writing this than I thought I would. It may be because I don’t want to air resolutions for the world to see. They’re mine. My “demons” if you will. I cannot keep this concise without simply naming them off in succession, but I shall do my very best. I don’t want this to get too personal…

I’ve been keeping to them fairly well thus far. Sure, there are days I falter, but I’ve tried to balance that with doing positive things; ie. every time I break a resolution (or do something that deters me from achieving a long-term goal) I will write a blog entry or apply for a job or something else positive. It’s not a 1:1 ratio either; using (mentioned previously) has allowed me to give more weight to more difficult achievements. A vague example being that easy things to accomplish/avoid get lower points and vice versa, so in order to make up for breaking a big one, I have to do something positive that takes a certain dedication of time and energy or a lot of small good things. Does that make sense? I feel like if you look at the sample on the site, it kind of explains itself.

So far, this method has been working for me. It is more of a daily checklist (and I do love my lists) than a few large goals (for example, losing 50 pounds – not a goal of mine) so I’m not sure how much it works as a resolution tracker. Perhaps I’ll call the site itself my resolution. Like “I resolve to use Joe’s goals daily.” I should probably even say “I need to have a score of +25 every month at least, with that value increasing by 5 each month.” That seems like a S.M. A. R. T. goal.

The main point of this entry was two-fold: (1) to take an introspective look at how I’ve been doing to hold myself accountable and actually do a self-assessment, (2) discuss a thought I had regarding vices, and (3) write a blog entry.
(ok, so that’s three. bah!)

So, on vices:

It’s a tough thing to do, giving up vices/habits. I myself can attest to that. It is difficult no to fall back into them. The fact that they’ve become habits attests to their strong power over us. But there must be a reason we wished to change these aspects of our personality last December 31. We realised that these were vices and without giving them up, we could not achieve the positive change we desire.

Though all this has been stated ad nauseum in other forms and places, I had a different thought the other week. Sometimes, is it possible that not giving up our vices, our flaws, our shortcomings, and instead embracing them can better us as people? What I mean to say is this;by recognising that which we wish to change when (or shortly after) we’ve faltered yet again, can we strengthen our resolve for next time? Can we discover the catalyst and replace the vice with something similar that is less negative?

Likewise, by recognizing said catalyst, can we find better alternatives to the vice? Instead of trying to change out bad habits, can we change the thing that makes us want to fall back into these habits? Can we go for a jog instead of watching tv and then drinking? Chew gum instead of smoking while driving? Go to a movie instead of the bar?

With a new day comes new resolve that is expent by evening. Why is that? The hangover reminds you that you shouldn’t rink so much, but in the heat of the moment, you remember why you suffer the hangover (extra weight, wheezing while jogging, etc.): you enjoy the vice. The habit is such because you enjoy it.

Now the question is, do you want the alternative enough to give up the bad habits to attain the end result?

I know not all of these ideas are novel in even the least, but they got me really thinking. I think a lot in the shower for some reason. Good place to zone. Really, I should have a pen and paper (or something..) in there sometimes. But back on track, personally, I am trying to make some better habits. One month in seems like a good time to take a cold hard look at this and maybe take a few more steps toward building a better you.