One of the first things you learn in teacher education courses is how to write lesson plans. A good lesson plan is centered around an objective. We also learned that objectives have to be specific and measurable, otherwise, when we give students tests, we won't know if they've achieved our objectives.
New Year's resolutions should be modeled on objectives, as well. In addition to being specific and measurable, I believe they should also be reasonable.
Here are some examples of poor resolutions and what I think of them:
- I'm going to lose weight - How much? How?
- I'm going to eat less junk food - How much is less?
- I resolve to be a nicer person - Really? How are you going to measure that?
- I'm going to exercise every day - And as soon as you are sick or injured, your resolution for the whole year has been broken
When I started running, I began writing down how far and how long I'd run each day on the calendar in my bedroom. So in January, I counted up how many days I'd exercised in 2009 and resolved to exercise at least one day more in 2010. That's specific - exercise 1 day more. It's measurable - I can count days on the calendar very easily. It's reasonable - sure, I'd like to triple how many days I worked out last year since I had a lot of down time due to my knee and other issues, but I don't think that's reasonable.
So I have to work out at least 80 days this year. Half the year is gone, so I should be half way there. Am I? Yes! So far this year, counting this morning, I have worked out 52 days.
I know that may not be a lot to some people, but I have to compare me to me and not worry about others. So I'm half-way to fulfilling my New Year's resolution.
I suggest you re-write your resolution as an objective, measure where you are currently, and give it a go for the 2nd half of 2010. Happy New Second-half of the Year!!!