I'm not working tomorrow. In fact, January 2nd is the one day of every year I try not to work. It's too depressing.

Now you might think I say that because it is the end of the holiday season, but that's really not it. Well, my reasons for not working January 2nd have a lot to do with one particular holiday tradition, so maybe it is true. I'll let you be the judge.

Across the land last night hundreds, heck, millions of people watched the clock strike midnight and made their New Year's resolutions.

This means that tomorrow at the library we, (well not me) will see people who are going to exercise more, lose weight, quit smoking, learn about technology, build a resume and get a better job, and on and on and on.

Now, I hope (today's WOTD), that a large number of these folks are successful in their endeavors. The reality though is that a larger number will fail.

In just a few weeks, the treadmills at the gyms will once again be empty, the restaurants will once again be full, and the junk food and tobacco business will once again be booming.

I just think that's depressing.

A few years ago, I decided I wasn't going to do resolutions anymore. I was sick of the failure, of saying things like, "I'll try again in the spring," or "I'll do it for Lent."

Instead I set about finding a way to actually accomplish something instead of revisiting failure.

I began by working on True Intent. As I've talked about before, that goal is to:

Always try to consider peoples' true intent when interacting with them and respond accordingly and without bias.

Now this is an ongoing exercise, so I can't say that it's a "resolution" per se, but I do remind myself each year to stay true to that goal and I take a little inventory to see how I've done during the course of the preceding year.

This year, I think I did okay. I still lost my temper more than a few times, was less than patient in a couple of situations, and probably added some sarcasm that wasn't necessarily called for.

It's always a work in progress.

Today, I am asking myself if there is an end goal from that progress, and while I don't think there is as human interaction will never end, I do think it is part of something larger that I have been working on without even knowing.

That would be the process of self improvement. Yeah, I'm putting it all together now - the Year of Inventory, the desire to get along better with others, wanting more people to know the real me. In general, the need to tackle some things I've been avoiding for years.

Duh, Jim - the process of self improvement. Good for me, but darn I can be slow sometimes.

Okay, so I'm asking myself, "what's next? What do I want to work on improving in 2009?"

Heck I don't know. I've been pondering that question all day long, walking around the house, staring at the t.v. screen, watching football and hockey, looking at my cluttered desk. You know - taking inventory.

I'd like to read more. I'd like to have better sleep habits, and maybe even make myself into a morning person. (Is that possible?) I'd like to refinish a couple pieces of furniture that have been sitting in my garage for far too long. I'd like to finish a few projects at work that have been sitting in my "to do box," for quite a while. I'd like to blog more, and write more effectively.

That's just the list of things I've come up with today. The total number of possibilities are really probably endless. Self improvement is not something that we ever finish or check off a list. Nobody is perfect as they say.

But where to begin? How do I "not fail?"

I have my lovely wife to thank for providing the answer to this question. Netter always says:

"Just do something. As long as you are doing something you are making progress and that's really all that's important."

And so I begin - that pile of clutter won't be there for long.

What's your New Year's resolution?


Squints2.0 said...

Well said! I spent the day in the same thought process, so thank you and netter for finding the words. I wanted to set some resolutions, but was fearful of that failure. I hope you do not mind me borrowing from you. :) Annette

Squints2.0 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
goooooood girl said...

your blog is feel good......

justine said...

My new years resolution is to remember its the ride that makes up most of this journey- so enjoy it,

oh and to stop dropping the F bomb.

thanks for this Jim, its been a while since I have been able to check your blog- always good stuff.

Jim Brochowski said...


Thank you all for commenting and sharing your stories.

Squints - Absolutely - borrow away. The more the merrier.

Juice - It is about the ride, and you know The f bomb can be a fun word to say sometimes. Lol!

Thanks for reading!