Meanwhile, I got this idea into my head that--well, you know how they say what you do on the first day of the year effects for the rest of it? It finally occurred to me that I could do a lot of small, representative things. I don't have to spend the whole day (like yesterday) organizing; I could just move a couple of things around, wash my hair, put on a little lip gloss, wear a new pendant Sister Girl gave me, read a little, and write a few ideas down, and I'd have several of my vague resolutions covered (keep things tidier, look nicer, wear more of my jewelry, read more frequently, and continue the level of productivity I had going this summer and fall). Which is really the way you ought to do it every day, I guess--little things representative of where you want to end up. I say "vague resolutions" because the actual resolution I think I'm going to try is based on the idea that I'm almost painfully self-aware (as longtime readers have probably noticed), and so I basically know why my life isn't what I want it to be. It's because of me, only me, and because there are tons of things I don't do because I'm either afraid, lazy, or self-indulgent (depending on the actual thing). And every day, pretty much every moment, I make a choice--usually to not do something, or at the very least, to keep doing nothing. So my resolution is to take each moment that comes by and do something (exercise, write, eat better, answer email, floss) instead of nothing, instead of putting it off, instead of telling myself that I can't. And every moment I fail to do that, that's okay, because there's always the next moment just coming up where I can try again. It's probably going to be hard at first, because habits are always hard to break, and that's not even taking into consideration the baggage behind the habit of inaction--and it's not the "set concrete goals" thing they tell you will be more effective. I don't know, though--what I've learned about myself is that an actual decision, a deadline, works against me psychologically. At the end of the day, I think I hate being told what to do, even by myself. I can't say, "You're going to do this and that and the other by the end of 2008." I have to choose every moment to do it, and maybe the next moment not to, and maybe the moment after that to choose to get back to doing it again, and I have to know that the world isn't going to end if I can't do it. It's not really a sense of rebellion so much as it is fear. And since I've been in the grip of this inertia since I graduated college--since before I graduated, really--probably the only way to shake it is to figure out what I want to do (which is, in a sense, that list of concrete goals) and then apply myself on a minute-by-minute basis to achieving that. It sounds kind of tiring, but on another level, it's kind of freeing--whatever mistake you make or chance you miss or diet you cheat on, the next moment absolves you; the next moment is a new start, and the moment after that, and the moment after that. And since I deal with a weird sort of constant, irrational guilt and anxiety, that may be what it takes for me to get moving. So I'm going to start trying that, on the understanding that it's going to be hard to go from 0 to 60 all of a sudden, so being completely crapful at whatever I undertake (I'm thinking of exercise in particular here) is okay--it's the act of choosing to get started, creating the habit of trying, that's important in that kind of case.
So we'll see how it goes. Failing that? The lash.