Thursday, February 28, 2013

Resolution follow-up

I'm either organized or crazy!
So, as you know, I made eight resolutions for 2013. Because I'm a firm believer in the mantra, if it can be measured, it can be managed, and also that if it's scheduled it gets done, I made a giant chart for my resolutions, breaking things down into two-month increments, and then sometimes breaking them down further into monthly or bi-weekly tasks.

For the January/February period, under number 6, read all of the books I've borrowed from friends, I was to read the books on my bedside table (including the books borrowed from Voracious, T), and also finish World Changing. Not only have I not managed to read the books on my bedside table, but I have not touched even one of the four books I've borrowed. I did manage to get through a bunch of magazines that were on the bedside table, and finish World Changing, though, so it's not like I've been doing nothing.

Because I have eight resolutions, and because apparently this is how accountants think, I have to complete two resolutions every quarter to stay on track. I've completed one already, number 1, consolidate my reading lists.

I broke down goal 7, lose weight, into two-month tasks. The January/February components were to burn 600 calories a day (when my sister saw that I had listed simply "600 calories," she was concerned that this was what I planned to eat every day), and to not eat stuff I don't bring to work (we have amazing snack drawers at work). I burned at least 600 calories on 23 days in January and February (note that there were many days where I exercised but simply didn't burn 600 calories), and I didn't eat stuff I didn't bring to work 23 days (also note that I was on vacation for 4 working days in January). (These were not necessarily the same 23 days, although sometimes they were.)

Not actually on the resolution list, although on the giant chart, but because it causes Captain America a lot of stress and otherwise our DVR would be completely full, I broke down watching all of the recording I have into monthly tasks. Combined, for January and February, I was supposed to watch all of my 30 Rock and Dirty Jobs recordings, as well as four movies. I managed the four movies, and a lot of both 30 Rock and Dirty Jobs, but not all of them. Additionally, because, like I said, I like to measure stuff, each month I need to watch enough recordings to have 8.5% of the DVR free (cumulatively getting to 100% by the end of the year...Captain America relaxes at about 70% free, so around September or October he'll be able to chill). The good news is, as of last night, I had 34% free, while I only need to have 17% free by the end of February (so I'm 200% successful on this non-resolution, despite not watching all of the assigned shows).

Finally, while I haven't accomplished any of my financial goals, I have made a spreadsheet (of course I have), detailing how much I have to pay out of each paycheck to meet these goals by the end of the year. The schedule is updated monthly for the number of paychecks remaining and the changes in the balances.

I realize this is already a fairly long and wordy post, and I'm just going to add to this by continuing, but I've also been giving a lot of thought to why accomplishing these things and being neurotically organized about it is so important to me.

I've been watching the new season of the biggest loser, and one thing that's constantly reiterated by the show is that there's a reason the contestants gained all that weight, that food is something they've turned to as a substitute or solution or excuse for something else. The contestants just finished a "face your fears" week, and a lot of the fears are common to everyone...fear of heights, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of sharks, fear of close spaces, and fear of talking (or singing) in front of others.

I think, for me, the fear of failure resonates the most. It's one of those things that's really rather illogical...I mean, if you look at my life, I clearly haven't failed. I have a good husband, a good job, two degrees, a house, a retirement account. I'm not saying that there haven't been mistakes or problems along the way, I'm just saying that really, they didn't lead to failure. And honestly, when I try to think of something that I really failed at, I don't come up with much (except for maybe an occasional cooking experiment or two), but still believing that who you are is enough is really, really hard.

I think I also have a concern that I'll look back on my life and discover that I haven't really done what I've wanted to do, that I haven't really found meaning in my life, because I've been too busy doing a whole bunch of other stuff. I think making and scheduling resolutions helps keep me on track for what I want, whether is silly or fun or practical or a Big Important Accomplishment. And even if I don't accomplish everything on the list, I can still look back and see everything I have accomplished, which is pretty awesome, too.


  1. I am impressed! You are a wonderful person and you have a great life. You should be very proud of what you have accomplished. Always wondered about that chart!! :)

  2. Jill--I really appreciate how you always manage to work around any randomness going on in my house!