With a new year, invariably, comes chatter of resolutions. (Top Ten lists as well, but I digress.) Many people make them. Very few stick with them. Some pay the concept no mind. As Mur astutely points out, it negates the idea of a “resolution” (namely, the whole “resolve” part) to stop talking about it after a few months, then after a few more, looking forward to making resolutions again for the following year.
My own history with resolutions hasn’t been all that successful. The only one that I can recall keeping was that of losing weight a couple of years back, and that was motivated not by an arbitrary numerical date change, but by a significant personal event. That said, the idea of making resolutions to time with a “new year” isn’t necessarily flawed – a flip of the calendar is as good as any symbolic milestone to use as a starting point for changing something about one’s self for the positive. Without some other independent factor, though, the follow-through usually fails.
Instead of resolutions, then, several of my friends have been establishing hopes or goals to look forward to in 2008. I’ve pondered doing something like this, but I’m finding the potential pool of candidate goals is quite large, and all seem to be equally screaming for my attention. If there’s one thing I truly want to change, it’s less specific things (i.e. lose 20 pounds by June), and more a global approach to my daily living and workflow that will allow me to do more of what I want, and make what I do better. As such, I’ve decided to experiment with the following – I’ve selected a theme for the year:
Despite all that I’ve accomplished over the last year – some of the more meaningful items included moving out of fellowship into full-fledged attending physicianhood, passing my Infectious Diseases boards (I never mentioned that, did I? Well, I did now!), and actively participating in some podcasting voice work – there’s a lot more that I didn’t get to. Be it finishing research projects from my fellowship, gaming more, combating the entropic beast that has taken over the house, keeping in closer touch with meaningful people both near and remotely (and yes, that includes blogging), or realizing a seekrit projekt or five, balance is the key thing needed to shoehorn these into an already overfull schedule. Noone will ever accuse me of having a lot of so-called “free time,” but it is true that what I do have I often don’t put to the best use possible.
So here’s the experiment: I’m committing to regularly discussing “balance” in this space, at least once a month. A Balance Report, if you will. While I’m not aiming to discuss specific goals, I have a few ideas on how I can balance my existence better in the coming months that I’ll ruminate on, and maybe even enact. At the very least, it will keep my Theme for 2008 in the forefront of my mind.
Oh, I will be putting up a couple of “2007 retrospective posts” in the coming days. Not out of any sense of nostalgia, mind you, but more because I promised to blog about several date-specific topics (conventions and movies, for instance), and didn’t. That will be remedied.