100 Great Resolutions for 2013

The other day I posted a resolution I made for myself for 2013. One of the comments on the post was from reader and friend Emma, who noted that she had not one resolution for 2013, but rather one hundred resolutions. The categories on her list sounded interesting, so I invited her to share her list on the blog. It turned out to be a fantastic list. I’ve picked my top resolutions from each category at the end of this post. Here’s Emma:

New Year’s Resolutions for List Makers
In 2011, I started a new tradition for myself, to make a list of 100 Things To Do that year. Instead of making lofty and unmeasurable resolutions that would die out quickly without any type of plan, I made a long list of things and varied them from abstract to specific, one-time to long-term. Now in its third year, this tradition has morphed a little bit. I fully accept that I will edit the list as the year goes on and as my priorities and ideas change. (I don’t remove something because I didn’t get to it, but I do remove it if it is no longer a desire of mine.) You’ll see that some are repetitive (or building upon each other, like good posture and NOT hunching my shoulders go hand in hand) and some seem too easy, but I still like the exercise of writing things down and editing a few out. I also shifted to 4 lists instead of 1 to be a little bit more purposeful about how I am thinking about the world.
I just keep these in a Google Doc and glance at them every month or so, checking off the list and making notes about what I did. (For example, I make a list of the books I want to read and check those off. I also like to reflect and realize how many new friends I made or when I felt like an author or a doer.) Some of these items have carried over year to year, but I try to not carry the guilt, merely the idea. These are not all going to make sense to you, but some of them might spark something for you, so here you go! What’s on your list?
25 Things to Do in 2013:
1. Something creative to the house.
2. Sleep well (one week for sleep debt at minimum)
3. Make and keep a birthday calendar and address book (can be digital)
4. Eat at 10 new restaurants
5. Read 10 books
6. Watch a meteor shower
7. Bike to Camp Ondessonk
8. Go to the drive in!
9. Learn to drive stick shift
10. Change some of this list and start on 2014’s
11. Ride a bus with no destination again
12. Watch a sunrise
13. Completely catch up on all things work-related
14. Make the Rat Patrol event 100% badass and successful
15. Follow a bug
16. Throw a theme party or activity
17. Try 10 new recipes
18. Come up with a new catchphrase
19. Go see a live dance performance
20. Go to New Orleans with the neighborhood crew!
21. Get a new driver’s license
22. Go see/hear live music
23. Win something!
24. Leave this one blank
25. Ride in the Pedaler’s Jamboree

25 Things To Be in 2013

1. A consistent dog parent with greetings at the door and barking
2. A guitar player
3. A backpacker and hiker
4. An author
5. A stretcher, an exerciser
6. A laughter leader
7. A hostess
8. Someone who has a semi-consistent morning and bedtime routine
9. A doer
10. A game player, puzzle doer, legomaniac
11. Someone who has good posture
12. A fan at a kind of sports game I’ve never been to
13. A tea drinker!
14. A barterer
15. A seamstress
16. A Zumba STAR
17. Patient
18. A listener
19. A blood donor
20. A volunteer
21. A foster parent (puppies, take it easy)
22. A collaborator
23. A kickass account manager
24. A homeowner (get to know the house better)
25. Me

25 Things to Not Do/Be in 2013

1. Make too many lists
2. Judge people behind their backs
3. Take my parents for granted
4. Yell when I don’t need to
5. Be a martyr
6. Forget that I can ask for help
7. Spend time being angry
8. Overthink semantics
9. Overspend money on impulse buys
10. Procrastinator
11. Hunch my shoulders
12. A TV hound (it’s okay if I don’t watch shows right away)
13. A stickler about other people not meeting my standards
14. Someone who doesn’t show when they have a bad day
15. Late
16. Too serious
17. A wallower
18. An overeater
19. Let my voice get rusty (sing more)
20. Cling to something that doesn’t matter
21. Avoid silence
22. Always go straight to work (detours are fun)
23. Give unsolicited advice
24. Be on Facebook all the time
25. Forget to breathe

25 Folks to Engage with:

1. A new friend
2. Penpal
3. Kyle (write love letters!)
4. 10 businesses (fan letters in the real mail)
5. A celebrity (write a fan letter! Maybe Denise from Survivor)
6. A stranger at a restaurant (comp someone’s meal again)
7. The elusive Red Panda at the Saint Louis Zoo
8. My sister – call her more for longer conversations!
9. Cash and Hazel – write things down as they are growing up
10. Katie (workathon 2012)
11. Co-workers – host a social event
12. Kyle (take more pictures, we’re adorable)
13. Jackson (just love him)
14. My mom – call once a week
15. My dad – be email penpals more often
16. Our postal worker – I know nothing!
17. Laughers – get to know them better
19. A new mentee
20. Neighbors
21. People on the bus
22. Former co-workers
24. In-laws
25. Me (listen to my body and mind, write things down more)

Jamey’s Favorites:

  1. Follow a bug: How cool is this? I love it. Have you ever crouched down in the grass to see what the world looks like to the insects? It’s something I haven’t done in a long time, and I’d like to do it again.
  2. To be me: I like that Emma listed lots of different hats to wear this year, but my favorite (close second: blood donor) has to be me. I think if everyone strove to be their true self, the world would be a better place.
  3. Don’t be someone who doesn’t show when they have a bad day: Lots of good ones on this list, including “don’t judge people behind their backs” (easier said then done, even if it’s something you’re aware of…we make excuses all the time about why it’s okay if we judge this one time. It’s not). But my favorite is “don’t be someone who doesn’t show when they have a bad day.” I think it’s important that we let ourselves feel what we’re feeling and not hide it from the world. This doesn’t mean that you try to make other people have a bad day when you are, nor is it an excuse to gripe. But it’s okay to feel what you’re feeling.
  4. Comp a stranger’s meal at a restaurant: I’ve always wanted to do this, and it never occurs to me when I’m in that situation. I don’t even know how it works. But I absolutely want to do it. Or at least buy a lady a glass of milk.

What do you think? Do any of the items on Emma’s list resonate with you? Also, by sheer coincidence, my friend Katy also posted on this subject tonight.

7 thoughts on “100 Great Resolutions for 2013”

  1. The first three that Jamey picked were ones that really stood out to me too. When I saw “Follow a bug” I actually stopped reading and thought about that for a second, and it put the biggest smile on my face. Charlotte got an ant farm for Christmas last year, and we had so much fun watching them dig their tunnels and construct their little ant city. We’d rush in the door every evening to see how much progress they’d made.

    I’ve been with my parents before when they’ve comped someone’s meal. If they are out to eat and see servicemen or women in uniform at one of the other tables, they almost always discreetly pay their bill.

    I’m also a big fan of “Don’t forget that I can ask for help.” That was a lesson I learned the hard way in 2012.

    How many times has the Red Panda eluded you? 🙂

    • I followed a bug last year too, it was so fun!

      I comped someone’s meal on December 30th (cutting it close there) and my whole group of friends really enjoyed the sneakery involved. The waitress acted like people do it all the time, no biggie.

      I was very specific about the asking for help wording because I have definitely learned how to ask for help, but I still forget that it’s an option! I am not above doing it, but I like to remind myself that it’s always out there.

      The Red Panda only comes out when it’s under 70 degrees and I “adopted” it May 2011 only to have seen it like 4 times since then. Clearly I need more cold-weather visits to the zoo, but it just isn’t out that often!

      Thanks for your comments 🙂

      • So how does it work when you pay someone else’s bill? What if you leave before they do? Is your credit card kept on file? What if they end up ordering a lot of food and drinks afterward? Do they put the tip on your card or do you just tell the server the percentage?

        • I specifically wanted to leave before they did, to ensure the element of surprise and not have them know who it was. I just whispered to the hostess that I wanted to pay for that table’s meal, she rang it up just like their server would have, and I paid tip as well. She couldn’t put tip on my card, I had to add it on the receipt just like normal. I think if he had ordered more after I left, they would have just delivered that bill to him (just my guess).

          I chose someone dining alone because I love doing things by myself but there is such a social stigma against it, so I appreciated his “bravery”.

          • Emma–Ah, I see. That makes sense. Now I can’t wait to do this! I like the person you chose. I might go for an elderly couple. I love old people.

  2. Cool list, Emma. I really like “Watch a sunrise.” That’s something I haven’t done in a long time. Maybe I will try to do that, too!


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