Resolution Review 2017

It is that time of year again...the time where I round up my resolutions from 2017 and determine how successful I was in keeping and crushing my goals and resolutions of the last year. I do this just in time to make new resolutions. Do you do this too, or is it just me? I must say it makes for a great exercise in reflection, and truthfully I should probably do it more than once per year but there are only so many hours in a day and I have plenty of other methods of passing the time at my disposal.

So without further ado, here is what I set out to complete at the beginning of 2017.

Goals and Resolutions of 2017

Finish My Dissertation - DONE! This means that I basically won 2017. This silly (not so) little thing had been looming over my head and I became a true champion at avoiding the writing portion of this project. What was odd was the fact that I loved doing the research and would actually use 'doing research' as an excuse not to write the damn thing....any psychoanalysts out there want to take a crack at figuring that one out? Another clever way to avoid writing was my fanatical dedication to practicing every day. I remain convinced that they make you write a dissertation at the end of your performance degree just to make you WANT to practice. Ultimately a Success with a couple months to spare.

Write More - Does finishing the above document count? I think so! Also, I churned out several more blog posts last year (another brilliant way to procrastinate). Success!

Read 33 Books - I crushed this one. I have completed 39 books so far and just might hit 40 before the stroke of midnight on December 31st (but I'm not counting on it). Thank goodness I could count several books needed for my research towards my 33 book goal. Success!

Write a letter to Nana after finishing every book - Well, I managed one letter a month on average, which is better than nothing I guess although it really isn't perfect.

Ride My Bike More - Kinda failed at this one. As in, I can count the number of times on one finger I rode my bike. How embarrassing! This actually got worse since last year (this was a repeat resolution). I have big dreams of being a bike commuter, going on long weekend bike rides, and cycling to the coffee shop for a cappuccino but at the end of the day, I always jump in my car instead. I did ride horses more, does that count? Fail.

Go to Yoga classes again - My home practice was amazing in the winter and early spring. I don't mean to brag or anything but I could feel and see my improvements on the mat and learned so much about how to approach my physical shortcomings, and the places in my body where I perpetually store tension. I used Iyengar's original plans outlined at the back of Light on Yoga. And then I got preoccupied with other activities, writing, running, riding, playing, reading, living. I felt disappointed in myself. BUT in November I bought Groupon vouchers to several yoga studios in Tulsa and have been sampling the local yoga flavors. I must say, it is nice to practice in a group/class setting once in a while and has definitely amped up my enthusiasm and dedication to the asana practice again. I'll count this as a success and a move in the right direction.

Be a better morning person - I am terrible at this UNLESS I have a yoga class to go to first thing in the morning. Something about the accountability first thing in the morning really helps me leap out of bed. I cannot seem to display this same type of discipline when it comes to early morning solo runs, my home yoga practice, or even getting work done at home. What is up with my fickle little brain? Again, any psychoanalysts out there have an answer for this one? I'm counting this as neutral, not a success and not a failure, but moving in the right direction.

Set Short Term Goals - Yes. This improved immensely! I used this in my practice sessions, writing sessions, and research marathons. By the end of the year, I had weekly practicing checklists and monthly goals that included specific blog posts to write, important people to email, and organizational needs. It is not perfect but was definitely a success. 

No buying books until I had completed a huge stack of books sitting by my bed (see photos) - this was an absolute fail. I mean, hello? I went to Powell's Books in Portland this summer. Need I say more? I can't help it. I have a problem that borders on addiction. But at least I buy them AND read them. A proud Fail.

I read 7 of the 14 books pictured here.

I read 7 of the 14 books pictured here.

I read 4 of the 13 books pictured here. Not pictured are the books my neighbors, family members, and friends leant to me or gave to me that I just had to read as fast as I could.

I read 4 of the 13 books pictured here. Not pictured are the books my neighbors, family members, and friends leant to me or gave to me that I just had to read as fast as I could.

No Social Media in Bed - this one is amazing and I think everyone should try it in 2018. I went through huge spurts of being really good at this, and as a result got so much bedtime reading done! The trick for me is plugging my phone in on the other side of the room before getting in bed. If I do this, it forces me to pick up a book instead and usually results in an earlier bedtime. The tricky part for me is the morning scrolling. I get out of bed, hit snooze or turn my alarm off, then scroll casually through my email, and social media updates as I plod around my morning routine. I'm definitely keeping this resolution in 2018 but I still count it as a success.

Organize Music - You better believe I improved at this one! Although every 2 months or so I have to sort through the huge piles of practice parts, repertoire for my students, music for gigs, and things I want to learn and put them away so I don't look like a hoarder living in the spaces between stacks of books and sheet music. I even have binders of orchestral parts in the event that I need to reference it at some point (read: for an upcoming audition). Success!

Overcome my Quickbooks anxiety - with the help of the ever-patient Pam Edwards who let me sit in her office and input all of my finances and helped teach me the ins and outs of Quickbooks, I am no longer a total dunce with this program anymore. Is it the first thing I want to do on my days off? Absolutely not! Do I avoid it like the plague? Well, plague is a strong word....I'd say its more fair to say I avoid it like the DMV; I go when and if I have to, but I certainly don't rejoice at the thought of it.

Quit Complaining - total fail. I succumbed to the weakness of criticizing and complaining. I am not proud of this. I vow to keep this one for next year and shut down the bad attitude. Fail.

How did I do?

I'm giving myself an A- for this year because above all else, I wrote the dissertation and that trumps any other goal or resolution for the year. I truly feel that I can start living now, a burden has been lifted and I can commit to some other project that further sharpens my procrastination abilities.

What on earth will I do next? You'll have to stick around for the Annual Active Violinist Goals and Resolutions post for 2018 coming in a few days to see what I have planned for the upcoming year (with any luck and a little perseverance).