I've gone back and forth over the years with how seriously I take New Year's Resolutions. Most years, I come up with something around 10:30pm on December 31, and have forgotten about it entirely by January 7. It's not that I don't think making resolutions has merit. It's more that I've always had trouble coming up with concrete goals; I'd much rather keep my options open and grab onto opportunities as they come around. This has worked out for me at times, and not so much at others.
I don't mind saying that the last two years or so are among the latter times. I haven't starved to death or anything, but I've had enough setbacks to realize that the way I was going about things wasn't helping me in the long run. I'd actually missed opportunities that could have helped me out because I was afraid of tying myself down to something.
2009 was a bad year. I lost my job in February and spent most of the rest of the year just trying to keep things afloat. I spent the better part of the year working at Target, until I was able to start grabbing some freelance work (from the same company that had laid me off, no less). By the time the New Year rolled around, things were getting better, but I still had a mighty big hole to dig myself out of. So, I decided to make my resolution to end 2010 closer (financially and professionally) to where I had started 2009.
2010 was definitely a better year. I spent most of the year split between freelance work and working for the Census Bureau. I even got engaged to a wonderful person. But, at the end of the year, I still didn't have a full-time job and was still sitting in a bit of a hole financially. Also, I knew that I was turning 27 in 2011 and couldn't keep waiting for the right opportunity to come in. I'm getting married in the near future and would like to be financially stable enough to start a family someday. It was time to get off my ass and get going.
So, sometime around 10:30pm on New Years' Eve, I hit upon my New Year's Resolution: to finally do all the things I keep talking about doing. For years I'd been saying that I should do this thing, or organize that thing, or try to make money off of this other thing. This year, I'm not going to make excuses any longer.
It's worked out okay so far. The fact that I still remember the resolution in April is a victory in and of itself, but I've managed to even get some things done.
Things I've accomplished:
- Cleaned out four and a half years of e-mails from my inbox - This was a bit humbling. It's one thing to know that you've missed opportunities because of the way you do things. It's another to see offers and possibilities you passed on. But I did find a $25 Amazon gift certificate. Which I am now too indecisive to know how to spend.
- Read up on digital photography - I'd gotten interested in this more recently, and would really like to try my hand at this as soon as I can get my hands on a decent camera.
- Read up on theatrical rigging systems - I knew a little about these, but it was a big blind-spot in my technical skills. Now, I'm a little more well-rounded.
- Started seriously looking for full-time employment - Freelance work is fine for some, but I'm realizing that I'm not really that type of person. In the end, it's not something I can see myself doing the rest of my life. Getting a full-time job, preferably in the theatre or cultural (museums and such) world, would really set me up nicely.
- Started organizing my apartment - It's still a place with more stuff than room for said stuff, but I've at least started on making it more presentable.
- Tried stand-up comedy - I didn't spontaneously combust and got some compliments. I may even try it again. Eventually.
- Started this blog - Hopefully it's going well, and hopefully it'll lead into other opportunities, or at least be entertaining. If nothing else, it's given me an outlet for some of my general geekiness.
- Begun working out regularly - For the first time ever, I've started a regular workout regimen and I've stuck to it for more than 3 months now. I'm not perfect and I still cheat from time to time, but I'm doing better than I have in years.