As I have spent some time thinking of things I want to do or change in 2009, a few things have come to mind. I am not going to call them New Year's Resolutions, because I think that gives me too much leeway to "give up" if I don't keep them up within the first few weeks of the year (and considering what the first month or two of the year will be like for me, I'm not going to set myself up for failure. I know my limits.).
So, instead, I am setting goals for 2009. I will share them with you. (I hope they don't bore you to tears.)
The first goal is what inspired the title of my post*; it's the one I've been thinking about the most over the last month or so. Last year I took a "Writing Your Personal History" class to fulfill one of my last English requirements for my minor. Because writing at least 250 words in my journal every day was required to get a good grade, I wrote every day for as long as I was in the class. But, as you might guess, a couple of months later I had dwindled down to only a couple of times a week. When my wonderful friend Camille went missing and was later found dead near Bridal Veil Falls, I abandoned it altogether because I couldn't bring myself to write what I was feeling and thinking about. It was too painful--too final--to write it down on paper. But I feel really strongly about writing my personal history. I have a terrible memory, and I want my children and their children (should they be interested) to have access to all of the memories that will too soon fade away.
So, with that abbreviated version of my thought process, I want to share with you a new blog project I started. It's called "This Time It's Personal," and the purpose of the blog is to provide prompts for people who want to write their own personal histories but don't really know what to do. I make no claim of expertise. The only thing I'm an expert on is failing at journal-keeping. So... if you're interested in writing your personal history (or encouraging your children to write theirs), join me in my journey. You can go to mypersonalhistoryblog.blogspot.com or just click here to check it out and read about how it is going to work. I posted the first prompt just a few minutes ago.
If you like what you see there and want to share, I would love for you to link to it on your blogs. The more, the merrier (and frankly, I think the more, the "successful-er" we'll all be at keeping journals or making progress on our personal histories)!!
My second goal is a bit more simple. :) It is:
Exercise at least three times a week for 40 minutes or more.
Exercise wasn't something I ever thought about when I was younger. I played soccer and danced for years and years, so I never needed to think about it. But since abandoning soccer, clogging, and track, I've never been really consistent about exercise unless my grades depended upon it.
Well, it's time for that to change. It's time to make healthy living choices my go-to, default, no-questions-about-it way of life.
Since I won't have a car in France, and I think I'll have quite a bit of spare time every day (who knows what my schoolwork will be like), I am committed to exercising at least three times a week for a minimum of 40 minutes. Now, I'm not going to put a lot of restrictions on what counts and what doesn't. I'm also not going to require of myself that the 40 minutes be consecutive. I'm also not going to require that my heart rate reach a certain level, or that I burn a certain number of calories per day, etc. The most important end goal for me isn't weight loss (though that is important for me), but a healthy and active life. My big hope is that by the time I come home, I would rather walk to the grocery store or to work, that I would rather go to the gym and get a workout in than eat Sour Punch Straws and watch TV. It's a big change, and it's going to be really difficult for a long time. I may not be to that point when I come back, but I know that if I am consistent, I'll be much closer than where I am now.
So, maybe two goals isn't super ambitious, but I feel like they're big goals that will take a lot of self-control, discipline, reflection, and TIME. So I'm okay with just having these two main ones to work on.
*I saw on Wikipedia that Auld Lang Syne has been used as a rough equivalent to "Once Upon a Time," so I thought it fit in with the idea of writing my personal history, since I think of personal histories more as an actual story, like a memoir, than a journal.