'Resolutions 2012' photo (c) 2011, Lori Ann - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/“So did you make any New Year’s Resolutions?” my mom asks between bites of salad. It’s a casual question that probes deep, sort of like an obligatory “How are you?”

I tell the truth. “Of course not.” Except it’s a half truth, because I have a few little hopes and goals trolling around in my head, though I’m scared to attach the “R Word” to my dreams and murder them before they have a fighting chance.

Because aren’t we all good at self-sabotage at the beginning of a new year, or is it just my own lack of discipline? My track record isn’t so great.

Taking a photo a day in 2008? Nope.
Editing my 2009 NaNoWriMo novel? Abandoned.
A gracious do-over through my 2010 Photo a Day blog? Didn’t make it past February.

But we try, oh how we all try on. There’s something about writing the date 1/1 that awakens a hope that maybe this will be the year we meet that goal, and maybe this will be a chance to refocus on that dream, whether we speak it out loud or harbor it secretly as a hope.

So here’s to the R Word. A few small and/or slightly ridiculous hopes for 2012.

1) Make this the Year of the Poet. I have a stack of poem drafts begging for completion, and I want to pretty them up and let them go. I’m not sure how this will happen. Ideally, I’d love to surround myself with a few poetry nerds that will tell me when they suck and nudge me toward making them better. I also hope to have a chapbook’s worth put together by mid-spring.

2) Find the book inside me. I know it’s there. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it fits under #1, or maybe it’s something else entirely. I don’t plan to write one… just find it. And if something more comes of it, then bonus. Besides, I added my name to this list, so…

3) Try an unconventional journaling habit. I have this crazy urge to document things (like the reading list here on the blog), and at some point last year I thought it would be fun to jot down first impressions of every album I hear. This year, I’m seriously going to do it.

I figure forcing quick pieces will not only help me as a music writer with actual reviews and year end lists, but will also be a bit of geeky fun at the end of the year.

4) Read thirty books this year. By my “crazy urge to document” count, I seem to average twenty books a year, give or take a few, not really accounting for the abandoned ones. In 2007, the year after I graduated college, I read fifty. I’m setting my goal a little higher than average and lower than crazy.

Things I Will Not Resolve to Do

1) Exercise.
2) Write every day.
3) Get 8 hours of sleep a night.
4) Write shorter blog posts.

PS: Awesome of 2011 lists are coming in the next couple weeks. At least one person asked if I was making a best concerts list again, so it totally must happen. :)