I'm really looking forward to the year ahead. Of course, for me the academic "year" is the one I tend to think with -- when I have to remember a particular event, I usually have to think about which year in school I was. But I'm a big believer in fresh starts (being an academic allowing us three of these per year!) and setting goals, and rituals. So the new year is always worth noting.
Looking back at 2005, I can see that it was a time of change. All of it now seems preparatory, anticipatory of the bigger changes I'd like to make happen on the horizon. But, among other things:
  • My gf and I got married in February as part of a Marriage Equality protest -- a group wedding ceremony for 80 couples. But it was also much more than just a political act -- it crystallized our commitment to each other and the stability of our relationship. Looking back, it was one of the most significant moments of the year, even though it was something we decided to do only a couple of days before, without the party and planning and hoopla that usually would accompany a ceremony. Someday it'll be nice to have a big party for our faraway friends, but that's not in our budget or our priorities right now. And doing it just by ourselves actually intensified the experience.
  • We moved to a new house in June -- again, another major life decision we made very quickly. Things in our last place became increasingly untenable (crazy landlords, construction across the street, etc) and we found this great new place very quickly. The move was chaotic and it took us many weeks to finish unpacking, but it was one of the best things we could have done. We've all been so much happier here -- we have more space, the dogs have a better yard, and the energy of our home is vastly improved.
  • I taught summer school for the first time in an effort to come to terms with my debt load. Of course, some of the all-too-small extra stipend went to cover the deposit on our new place, etc, but it was an important act in trying to remedy a situation that makes me feel anxious and guilty.
  • I took on a half-time administrative post in my department -- which is expected once you get tenure, but I'm doing it not simply out of a willingness to be a good citizen. I'm looking at these three years as a chance to learn how the university functions and to discover whether I'm interested in an administrative path in my future.
  • I made a difficult and important decision about letting go of an old research project and moving forward with two new projects that reflect my current interests and expertise.
Thinking about these decisions and events shows me how much of 2005 was consciously or unconsciously about getting ready for a productive and energizing future. I had a lot of things that were weighing me down in 2003, 2004 -- the tenure process, some personal stuff, some blockages. And I've cleared through a lot of that and opened up some new gateways.

So, for 2006, I have a number of goals, and a couple of resolutions -- which I've always distinguished as the small daily actions that can create change -- and thereby help towards my goals.
  • make my physical health a priority -- which means stepping up on my gym training schedule as well as my yoga commitment. Luckily, I enjoy working out -- that's never the issue. But the time scheduling hasn't always been easy and over the past couple of years I scaled back on the lifting in order to fit in more yoga. This year I will make more time for both.
  • taking care of physical health also means getting back to my supplement routine. I feel better when I take vitamin and mineral supplements but ever since I changed my morning meal to all liquids, I've been less likely to take them because of stomach upset. So, duh, I have to take the supplements at midday instead. With a little planning and 28 days of effort I should be able to make this a habit.
  • try cooking some new recipes -- maybe one a month.
  • I'm really going to make the 28 day effort to do small daily writing sessions (a method I've recommend to others and watched them succeed with. So it's time to take my own advice).
  • blog more! I'm always happier when I'm reading and writing more.
I'll write about my outcome-oriented goals some other day. But these steps are simple daily actions that would help make this next year a better one.