There was a period of time when the holidays would roll around and notion of making New Year’s Resolutions would not even cross my mind. My vices and flaws weren’t so much problems I needed to fix as quirks that made me interesting and different. I think this is because I wanted to be a writer and my particular vices (insomnia, flakiness with respect to social obligations and paying my bills on time, and a crippling dependence on caffeine, junk food, and other, less savory, substances) were well-suited to the tortured artists I imagined the best writers to be.

One day (or rather, slowly, over the course of many days) I realized that I liked myself better when I wasn’t coming apart physically and emotionally and then I discovered a little thing called discipline and ever since I’ve been a bit of a self-improvement junkie. [That’s why some of my blog posts might read as advice-y. Not because I’m qualified to give advice, but because I obsessively look for the lesson in even the smallest turn of events.]

So, these days, I’m all about New Year’s Resolutions. One thing I noticed when I started turning ideas over in my head this year was the number of resolutions I ended up discarding because I’d already got that area covered. For example, I usually make a goal to run or exercise a certain number of times a week. At this point in my life, running is a habit that would be more difficult to break than not. So I resolved to train for an run a race. For another example, I usually resolve to cut my caffeine intake. But I don’t consume that much caffeine anyway, and completely eliminating it from my diet would probably do more harm than good (psychologically, I mean, because deprivation is damaging). So I resolved not to go on any diets this year.

I’m not saying I don’t have room for improvement, I’m just observing how lovely it is to be starting the year as somebody that I more or less like. This is a joy that I wish upon everybody. Make 2011 the year you learn to love yourself.

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