The year twenty-thousand-eleven starts today. You may argue that it started two days ago. You would be wrong. It starts today because today is Monday and I find that more convenient. We humans measure time in such an arbitrary self-established manner that I feel perfectly justified in setting my milestones however I please.
As today is the first day of the new year, I’m kicking it off with an attempted revamp of parts my life and its associated processes – otherwise known as “resolutions”. Though I’m trying to be more nebulous about them this year given that use of the word “resolution” has yet to actually work for me ever. Instead, I’ve taken account of the areas of my life where I feel the most dissatisfied and am developing ways to improve upon them.
And when I say “developing ways”, I mostly mean “tricking myself”.
I know myself pretty well by this point. I’ve had a not insignificant period of time to get to know me. I know how I work, and I know how I don’t. I know my pitfalls and foibles. I am also unscrupulous enough to use them against myself.
Just straight up trying to do things I know I should be doing has an alarmingly high rate of failure. So this year I’m trying manipulation.
Take exercise. I should do more of it. In that I should do any at all. What sane person enjoys exercise though, especially when there’s so much sitting to do? Oh but I love games. Luuuurve them. So I’ve tricked myself by angling for (and receiving) a Kinect for Christmas. Now you’ve got a shiny fun new toy you want to play with, and you get out of the chair and break a sweat! What now, Lady Chubby McFattington? WHAT NOW??
What’s more, I’ve tapped into my anal-retentive list-making side by creating a spreadsheet (which is already pre-allocated through to 31 December 2011) and today entered in my first set of numbers from Dance Central’s workout mode. This means that any day when I don’t do it leaves a Hole Of Shame in what will otherwise be an immaculately filled spreadsheet.
Nothing makes me crazier than having gaps in data, you guys, seriously.
Between my love of games and my hatred of incomplete spreadsheets, I have given myself the best possible start in taking action toward some semblance of fitness this year.
Maybe the internal motivation toward the goal isn’t what it should be. Maybe it won’t be the most glorious of victories. But fuck it, you know? Fake it until you make it.
Another area of 2010 that left me wholly unsatisfied was with my writing. I had pathetically little by way of public output, and that’s no good; a writer who isn’t writing is just an angry little person having constant conversations with themselves. Maintaining my 2011 trend of seeking out and exploiting my weaknesses, I know that laziness is my bitter enemy and constant companion.
Routine is really where it’s at. Getting in the habit of writing every single day. I was great at that for a while. Then it trailed off, becoming short bursts of frenzied activity followed by depressing lulls that seemed to grow longer each time I visited them. Still, I think I’m on the brink of something. I feel I’m brimming with hidden promise, like an unscratched lottery ticket. So many ideas I’ve had over the past year, but so few actually developed. That’s all laziness’s fault. (Okay yeah, and fear’s fault too.) But I have two great tools I can use against laziness. One is The Fresh Start. Two is The Unblemished Record.
Much like the spreadsheet, in 2011 I’ll use this blog as a way to make a documented mark of accomplishment on the day. Every day I’ll post something. Dunno exactly what yet. Thoughts on the day, plans for the evening, something I saw, something I heard. Having a record of Life As It’s Lived is something I’ve been missing, so it’ll work for that too. I’ll use it to wake me up and start the juices flowing in the morning. Or maybe it’ll boost my mid-day flagging, giving me a chance to take a breather without breaking rhythm. Or maybe it’ll just be a giant dump where I come to empty out my brain at the end of the day. Whatever it is, it will be something. So that even if I’ve had a particularly shitty day of staring at a blank screen, where I’ve typed six different words in six different combinations and deleted every one of them every time, still when I go to bed that day I have written something.
See, it has to happen. I’ve already started. To not do it now will leave a hole on my post count. I’m committed.
2011 is beginning with treachery, but really, it’s for my own good. And if I’m that stupid and easily tricked, well c’mon. It’s not my fault I’m so gullible.