Resolutions, Sacrifices and Benchmarks

I don’t know why we bother making new year’s resolutions when Lent is so close by. Unless it’s so we can use Lent as a benchmark to evaluate how we’re doing so far and what changes we can make to achieve the goals we set nearly two months before. That seems logical to me. Perhaps there should be benchmarks set throughout the year, roughly 40 days apart. Little mini-Lents.

I didn’t make any new resolutions on January 1. I had some vague ideas about being more productive, about trying new things (I started a bucket list! Does that mean I’m trendy or just getting old?), but I didn’t really resolve to do anything specifically.

So I decided, after wasting numerous hours on the computer playing Bejeweled and the trial version of its even more seductive cousin, Bejeweled Twist (which downloaded itself after an update of the original version – uh, thank you?), that it was time to make a specific resolution, even if it was for 40 days. I’m not going to play either of them at least till Easter, and on Easter, I will decide if I’d like to extend that resolution for another mini-Lenten period. Perhaps till Memorial Day!

It’s still on my computer but it’s not in my Start menu. I could access it, but it’s not right there. The first day was really hard – I realized how often I play it while waiting for a file to open, as a break while typing a lecture, when I can’t sleep at night and don’t want to involve myself in something that will keep me from going back to bed. I can rationalize that it’s a great way to fine-tune my eye-hand coordination, to think quickly, that it’s “only one more game,” but honestly, it’s a time suck. A bigger time suck than Facebook, than AIM, than the phone. And it’s keeping me from things I should be doing.

Like practicing. Or working out. Or writing my lecture. Or taking the puppies for a walk (well, the latter will happen more often when it gets warmer). But if I resolve to “practice more” or “work out more,” I’ll find a way around it.

I resolve to schedule things that I need to do for specific times. If I have “practice” on my calendar for a specific daily time, there’s a good chance I’ll do it. If I just think, “I should practice now,” the thought will be finished with, “Maybe later. After one more game.”

It would be even better if I scheduled “practice Moore songs” rather than a generic “practice.”

I’ll set a benchmark. On Easter Sunday, I will evaluate how not playing Bejeweled (or its mobile counterpart, “Jewels,” also on my Droid!) has caused me to be more productive. And how my scheduling is going.

And now my 3:45 student is here – so I resolve to teach!

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