At this time of the year, blog posts focus on the best and worst of the past year. Even more amazing, there are many articles on the best and worst of the decade. I can't believe that we've gotten through the first ten years of the millennium. And I've spent them all in Laos.
Along with looking back over the year or decade, everyone posts their resolutions for the new year, or why they don't believe in resolutions and won't post any resolutions. At a new year's party last night, I asked some of my Lao staff if they had resolutions. At first, they were confused because the word 'resolution' is translated as mat-tii , meaning 'law' or 'decree.' So I explained that in this context, it was like a personal law or decree for what they would like to change or try out in the new year. They all laughed and told me that they always want to do the best they can so why do they need to make their own laws?
Well, I was hoping that one of them would say something like, "I'd like to write better quarterly reports and get them in on time." Sigh. I just know that they will continue to do the best possible...
For myself, I really don't make resolutions. My situation is always changing so if I say, "I resolve to write 2,000 words/ day" or "I resolve to run 5 miles/ day," if I don't do it, then I feel bad. So I prefer to make recommendations for myself, such as:
Writing 500,000 words this year. Three years ago, I tracked my writing. I felt my writing was improving and I had the time and energy to keep at it. I discovered that if I wrote a lot, it became easier and my writing grew better. At the end of 2006, I had written about 370,000 words. So, I recommend to myself to write 500,000 words and see what happens.
Train for a half-marathon, whether I end up running in one or not. I always think a lot while I'm running and it frees my mind.
Read as much as possible this year. I always try to read one hundred books/ year which includes lighter reading as well as massive books which have won Booker or other literary awards. I still have a backlog of books, so I'm participating in the 'TBR challenge'.
Try to be patient and be a better boss. That also means handing over more work to my staff so I'm not left with it, which makes me feel crabby and uncreative.
Travel more in the region. I recently found out that I have frequent flier miles on Thai Airways that I have to use. It looks like I'll be doing some work in Nepal in February/ March so I'm going to travel a bit there (someplace safe as the political situation there is always changing).
Strive for quality and not quantity in these recommendations and don't get upset if I don't always live up to them. Just live a good and meaningful life, that's my main resolution.