Seeing as though most New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by the end of February, it’s puzzling to me why people even make them in the first place. I could vow every year to get down to my college weight, and at the end of the year the only thing I’m left with is some tummy pudge and an idea for next year’s resolution.
In early 2009, I was struggling to get pregnant. I wanted to feel successful at something and keep my mind off my own fecundity so I made a bucket list of 50 resolutions that I would accomplish that year. My list included everything from “delete my MySpace account” to “floss more” and “have something published.” Fifty was an incredibly ambitious list, but it kept me true to the things I wanted to change in my life, simple things I sat around wishing I did more of, or goals that I needed to put down on paper to make myself accountable for. The best thing about my list was that everything was doable. I didn’t set lofty goals like “lose 50 pounds” or “read 200 books” or even “get pregnant.” Rather, I named things that could be done with a little thoughtful time and motivation. Things that I had control over.
My husband was incredibly supportive of my goals and it helped him to find little ways to make me happy. He helped me with my goals to “play skee ball,” “spend way too much money on a fancy brunch,” and “organize my computer area.” At the end of the year I only completed 36 of the items, but I was proud, and incidentally, I was also pregnant. In 2009, I went out of my way to dance with my husband, to paint my fingernails blue, and to go on a girls-only vacation. I look back at my list and I see all of the wonderful memories from that year.
I’ve decided to make a bucket list for 2012, not fifty things but a substantial list to keep me mindful of the way I live my life. Some of the goals on my list are repeat things that brought so much joy I want to do them again and some I didn’t get to, but still want to do. A few are reminders for ongoing things I struggle with and some are easy memories that can be made in an afternoon.
- Go to a BINGO night
- Grow my hair out
- Dance with my husband
- Do more Pilates
- Make a budget and do more with less
- Listen. Really listen.
- Get messy with my toddler
- Clean out the spare room
- Read 3 books for pleasure
- Eat something I’ve never tried before
- Start/Finish my son’s baby book
- Close my laptop and be present
- Take more pictures of my son and I together
- Bake an apple pie
- Leave my toddler in loving care to spend an overnight with my husband
- Hand write a note when I am thinking of someone
- Wear something sparkly
- Keep up with housework
- Learn to apply a smokey eye complete with winged eyeliner
- Pay it forward
- Learn to sew
- Meet an internet friend in real life
- Eat more kale
- Let my toddler lead
I will never forget that in 2009 I started flossing, I applied to and interviewed for Phd programs, and I started to think before I speak. I stayed true to a lot of things I wanted to do that year and I’m excited for what 2012 has in store. I don’t want to sit around thinking “I wish I had more time to read for pleasure” or “I could never pull off black cat eyes.” Make the time. Do the work. Push the boundaries. You’ll be happy you did.
What is on your 2012 bucket list? Will you make one with me?