Friday 1 January 2016

Today is the first day of the rest of your life

Every day is a new start.  The past is prologue - you can't change it but you can change what happens now.  I think that is why we imbue this day, 1st January, with so much importance.  Why else do we make New Year's Resolutions?

Sometimes, I think that is part of the problem.  We give the New Year so much baggage:  "this year, I will be thin"; "this year, I will get straight A's in all my subjects"; "this year, I will get out of debt/earn a fabulous salary/save £100,000" (all while netting £2.50/hour or something similar); "this year, I will meet the man of my dreams", etc.  Frankly the expectation for virtually all New Year's Resolutions is  "this year, I will turn my life around and it will be wonderful from New Year's Day onwards...",  Of course, change can't happen that quickly but, when we get to the second or third week of January and wonderful things haven't happened, we feel like a failure.  Failure is built into the equation from the beginning.
One of my friends posted on Facebook earlier today "Best part of 2016 so far??  Reminding everyone that we have 366 days to make a difference instead of 365.  Make a difference!!!"   This is what I've been pondering all day:  how can I make a difference in 2016, both to my life and to others?  I have decided to set some very specific goals, rather than woolly resolutions, in order to make a difference.

16 Challenges for 2016
1). Run the Sports Relief Mile in Osterley on 20th March.  I've already signed up and Howard has agreed to run it with me.  We've set a modest fund raising target and hope to exceed it.  (I'll post a link closer to the time.). Since I can barely run 100m, this will involve training every workday morning - getting up at 5am - except when I'm travelling.  I will use the app to track my progress, as well as my Fitbit.
2).  £50 February.  Yes, I've decided to try again.  Will you join me?
3).  The weight challenge.  I want my UK size 12 clothes fit me, comfortably.  Right now, some do, some don't. I reckon ending the year weighing 9st10lb or less will do the trick
4).  The strength challenge.  Every workday morning I will do the 7 Minute Workout, which is a free app available for iPhone and iPad (not sure about Android).  I should be able to fit this into my routine after my new daily run.
5). The language challenge.  Resume my daily sessions on Duolingo to learn French.  (I took a break over Christmas.)  It takes about 10 minutes to work my way through the requisite 2 modules a day.
6).  Knit From Stash 2016.  This year, I will not go totally "cold sheep", instead I will limit my purchases to 10 balls of yarn for a sweater and 4 balls of yarn for socks/other presents.
7).  The other knitting challenge: to knit - and finish - four sweaters in 2016.  (This is theoretically possible.  In my most productive year, I knit six.). This will be on top of my regular production of six pairs of socks per annum.
8).  Fashion on the Ration.  Yes, once again, I will try to stick to 66 coupons as dictated by the 1941 clothing regulations.  This covers yarn purchases, too, but not items bought for household use.
9). To get my sewing machine serviced and to use it to make an outfit from my fabric stash.  (Yes, of course, I have a fabric stash.  What were you thinking?)
10).  To read 16 books in 2016.  Should be doable.
11).  The vegetable garden challenge.  I hereby commit to planting seeds in February, for planting out at the end of March.  If that doesn't happen, then I will call this challenge a failure then and be done with it.
12).  To move into the back bedroom and sort out the wardrobe issue.  
13).  To audition for a solo in the ECS 2016 carol concert.   I am a lazy musician.  This will help me be a better one.
14).  The friendship challenge.  I have lots of friends, some of whom I do not see or communicate with very often.  The challenge is to write a personal email to a different friend each month
15).  The entertaining challenge.  In conjunction with challenge 14 above, I want to have friends over for a meal 12 times in 2016.  I am not going to aim for once a month because some months this won't be possible, whereas in others it will be possible to entertain twice.
16).  To blog 16 times in 2016.
What will you do to make a difference in 2016?
- Pam