Resolved to Improve: Introduction

I’ve never really been one for resolutions, though in hindsight I probably just make them without ever really calling them that. Those who come in regular contact with me will probably hear me going on about one thing or another that I’m trying to do more of, and I lament, usually after anywhere from 8 weeks to 6 months after dutiful observance of one action or routine, that it falls to the wayside for one reason or another.

I think this is sort of depressing, and doesn’t really acknowledge the value that comes from trying something and finding out it hasn’t worked. As Edison is often quoted, “I haven’t failed, I’ve found ten thousands ways that don’t work.” I’d like to think that every one of those attempts, every day that I’m successful or less successful with something, is more insight about what works for me and what might work for someone else. It’s also a nice way to vary my reading, without locking myself into RSS reader unread-items hell, which I sometimes find it very hard to get out of without going cold turkey.

With that, my broadest resolution is to learn to keep doing things that benefit me, that can persist through the turbulent changes to my life, and which make me more of the sort of person I enjoy being. In short, constant improvement. This is the only real resolution I’m setting out for myself.

I like the idea of making a general commitment for observing, learning, reflecting and applying new thinking to several areas much more than I do committing to specific actions, because those tasks will come and go. Even if I don’t do the same thing all the time, I can often glean the benefits of a certain activity through trying other activities, and it’s self-defeating to make myself feel bad for not continuing to do exactly what I said I wanted to, exactly as I had specified at the beginning of the year.

With that, here are twelve areas of my life where I’m trying to make a change that will stick, one for each month of the year. In no particular order, I look forward to trying and learning new things about…

  1. Philanthropy
  2. Artiness and Craftiness
  3. Chinese
  4. Academic Research (which is closely affiliated to…
  5. My so-called Career
  6. Friends
  7. Space – personal, private, public
  8. Food
  9. Heart
  10. Outside
  11. Politics
  12. Music

Each month, I’ll write a bit on why I’ve concentrated on it, what I’ve tried, where I’m at, how I got here, what’s worked and what hasn’t, and hopefully you’ll find it interesting. :)

2 Trackbacks

  1. By countably infinite » Being more generous on January 18, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    […] This is one of twelve areas that I’m loosely “resolving” to improve this year. […]

  2. […] (rather than making promises to yourself you’ll just end up breaking), Karen (see post: Resolved to Improve) had by far the most inspiring new years post for me.  It hit home because it was not the post […]

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