Plans for the new year


While New Year’s Resolutions mean little now and even less in about a month, I’ve always believed in goals. New calendar equals chance to start fresh or set agendas or whatever.

We all have two types of resolutions. Self-improvement includes losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising more, being nicer to idiots and so forth. Tasks include writing a novel, saving up to buy a new computer, taking a trip to Aruba and coming up with to-do lists.


I can’t even chart my progress from last year. No real resolutions to speak of, other than to nurse a broken heart (boring story) and continue to seek my fortune in Birmingham.

As it turned out, my fortune is in Birmingham. My home is here, my friends are here, my future is here.

And my paying job, writing and traveling and innovating for a magazine, is here.

My behind-the-scenes affairs are much more messy. Scores to settle, a house to maintain, chores to tackle. I find it hard to believe sometimes, with all of my organizational superpowers, that the clutter continues unabated, the leaves pile up unraked.

Such is my neurosis, worn not on my sleeve, but room to room.

(Apparently, one of my self-improvement goals will be to stop worrying.)

Onward, I press.

One task is to organize a group of Birminghamians to volunteer in New Orleans for a week. If we have enough people, we can send another group to volunteer in Biloxi, Miss. After my time in New Orleans in November, I wanted to bring along friends and others to assist in rebuilding this great city.

Another task is to work with Big Brothers Big Sisters in ensuring that the Young Advisory Board grows and works hard all year to bring in mentors. I have more responsibility with the board, so I can’t sit back and let it stagnate.

Lots of volunteer tasks. A third is to help build Media of Birmingham into a self-sustaining group. I’d like to see it become a fun and valuable resource for networking and sharing info. It’s simply a club of journalists, advertising folks and other professionals in town. It has the potential to be much more.

I think the house is a given. De-clutter, paint and open for business.

That’s enough for the tasks — on to self-improvement.

One of my big priorities has always been finding balance. I want to structure my routine so that I have adequate sleep, time to write and exercise, time to work on these projects, time to read for pleasure.

Another self-improvement goal is to continue to build on my social skills. The past year has allowed me to come out of my shell and talk with strangers. I want to improve my chit-chat, address people by name, and feel more comfortable in unfamiliar situations. And I want to expand my circle of friends.

The next step is to plan my work. It won’t get done without a plan.

Only a few hours until 2007. For now, rest. Tomorrow, a new year.


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