It's January again. In some ways it seems like forever ago when it was January last year, and I was putting together my resolutions. And in some ways it seems like only yesterday. I've spoken before about the Happiness Project, but I'll talk about it again, because that book like no other I've read really speaks about the power of resolutions. There's one quote that Gretchen Rubin often calls upon, and it mentions the need to 'resolve aright.'
Doesn't sound that hard, right? You want something, you tell yourself you'll do it, and then you do it. Simple.
But actually, I'd argue that what makes it so hard to keep resolutions is that we so often resolve wrong. We resolve to big, or too vague, or we make resolutions that sound good, but that don't actually mean much to us. I made this mistake last year - too many resolutions. And some that meant nothing too me. And some that were too difficult.
So here's a look back at how I did in 2011:
*Post one self-portrait on the blog a month - nope! Fail. I'm trying this one again this year. Will I ever learn?
*Make my photography business profitable (in the black! this is a big one) - Not really, but much closer than before.
*Create 2 more photo books, mostly just as an exercise for myself - Actually this was not a very useful resolution, so I didn't pursue it. I decided my time would be better spent elsewhere, and I think this was a good choice.
*Write an ebook - Same as above. I'm not a writer, aside from this here blog, and I don't think I really want to be. I'd rather be a photographer. Maybe when I have something to say I'll write a book, but until then you can find me here, attempting to write a couple paragraphs a day.
*Have another swap on the blog (soon! look for it in the next couple of weeks) - Nope! Also kind of a silly resolution. I don't feel bad I didn't keep up with it. I'm just not great at mailing things.
*Give away one downloadable desktop wallpaper a month - No, but I'm trying again this year.
*Create my own Photoshop actions, so I don't spend all my time doing the same few things, over and over - Nope! This is still a goal, but it's not a resolution. More like something that it would just be nice to do.
*Continue Anatomy of an Image, make it better and more informative, and then actually do it every week! - No, I got bored with it. But I am hoping to post more on photography topics in general, and I might resurrect good ol' Anatomy from time to time.
Resolving to have a swap on the blog? Not worthy of my resolving time. And writing ebooks, or putting together photo books? Worthy goals, but not my primary ones. I like books, a lot, but there are enough people out there creating them. I don't need to add to the publishing madness quite yet. I'd love to do a book on San Francisco, but I don't have the images yet. Maybe this year, maybe not. We'll see. Other things should come first.
So without further ado, here's what I hope 2012 will bring. If it all happens, great. If only some of it happens, also great. If none of it happens, I'm probably going to have to revisit exactly how I make these resolutions and why.
1. Travel to a new continent. Africa, baby! I'm really hoping. If not Africa, it's going to have to be South America. It's happening. I can feel it.
2. Create and keep to a marketing schedule for Quotidian Photography. That's a big one, but it's important.
3. Walk to work (my teaching job) every day it's not raining. I've already been doing this so I know it's doable, but I'd like to make it a solid habit. It's about a 45 minute walk, and I feel so much better every day I do it.
4. Give y'all a new photographic computer wallpaper every month. I've tried to make myself do this before and failed, but it's a new year, and a new me. It's happening!
5. Really do a self-portrait and post it on the blog every month. I'm so inspired by Gail Werner's. She does an amazing job, but most importantly, she does it. I aspire to be like her.
6. I'd like to spend more time with friends. That's one of those things I've been trying to prioritize more, but I can always use an extra reminder.
For January, I'd like to try to:
-train Chee every day. He's got so much energy, I figure he can try to learn some new tricks. I bought the book Cat Training in 10 Minutes, and I'm pumped. So far we've tried it twice and I don't think he's learned anything except that I have food in my pocket and sometimes I give it to him. But we're working on it.
-buy a bookshelf. We need one. Desperately. My books are lying around the house with no home to go to. Now we have the space, this will change. Any ideas for good, not too expensive, capacious but small footprint bookshelves?
-be more patient in general. Especially with Evan, and sometimes with Chee.
-get to bed by 11 every night. I'm a night owl, so this is hard.
Whew! I think that's enough. Or rather, I think that's too much. But we'll see how I get on with all of this. Fingers crossed!
*PS - If you're interested, there's a good post about making resolutions on the Happiness Project blog. Worth a read, I'd say.*