Author: Campbell, Bruce

New Year's Resolutions for 2012?

I have long avoided New Year’s Resolutions, for two reasons. One, they’re ineffective. Studies show 88% of New Year’s resolutions are broken during the year. Sounds about right, doesn’t it? The other reason is, if you make the resolution a public statement, you embarrass yourself when you fail to keep the resolution.

Last December, I resolved (privately at first, but eventually I told family and friends) do exercise more, and eat better. My real goal was to lose weight, but I reasoned that if I did those other two things, the weight thing would take care of itself. I kept those resolutions, and it has worked – not spectacularly, and not quickly, but I do weight 15+ pounds less than I did last year at this time. And I think I have actually changed my lifestyle for the better, and did it before I got the dreaded “Do this or die” statement from a doctor.

Ok, so now I’m feeling bullish on New Year’s resolutions. Here’s what I learned (and there’s probably a million articles with the same information, so bear with me): Make the goal(s) simple. Make sure there are milestones to prove your adherence to the resolutions. Make the goal(s) realistic. Make the goals while you’re sober and feeling reasonably OK about yourself.

What’s next, then for 2012? Dare I speak up? Yes, I dare, because I’ve already launched these resolutions.

Family and community and art are my Areas of Improvement for 2012.

First – family. My kids moved out around the 2010/2011 transition, and my wife and I have had to re-discover our daily motivations and our roles in our relationship. You spend 20+ years with the nurturing of the children as your primary roles, so what happens when you don’t have that to push against anymore? The most obvious thing, it seems to me, is to enjoy each other’s company. In 2012, less gigs, more fun with my wife!

Second – Community. This includes CBA and my home town, Martinez. I stepped up my duties with the CBA, and I am stepping my involvement in Martinez downtown business association, Kiwanis and the Martinez Music Mafia. I have to thank the CBA for showing me how fun, and fulfilling, (and addicting) volunteer work is.

Third – Art. For me, this is music, and I want to make marked improvement s in my skills on four instruments in 2012. This is the hardest of the three resolutions to quantify, unfortunately. But even if I fall short of the nebulous goal of “marked improvement”, it’ll be fun.

I will turn 54 in 2012, and it looks pretty certain that my youthful dreams of being a rock star or world famous are not going to happen. In retrospect, those were fairly selfish ways of making a difference in the world. My best chance of making my life a worthwhile pursuit, one worthy of respect and some lasting value, is to try and make lots of little differences all around me. Happy New Year!

Posted:  12/28/2011

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