Afternoon Inqueery

AI: New Year

Welcome to the first Queereka Afternoon Inqueery (AI)! Carrying on with the great Skepchick tradition, Queereka will pose questions to its readers to answer each Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday afternoon.

Seeing as it’s the third day of this new year, I thought I’d wander a bit towards the cliché. It’s the time of year where we are bombarded with New Year’s Resolutions. Usually the Resolutions tend toward big life changes, including completely changing diet, joining a gym and exercising regularly, completely getting out of debt, changing personality traits (less grumpy, more happy!), quitting smoking/drinking/drugging, and so on and so forth.

But did you know that a recent study by psychologist and skeptic Richard Wiseman showed that only 12% of New Year’s Resolutions are successful? Like other goals, one way that psychologists recommend making resolutions into smaller, easier-to-accomplish steps by spreading it out over the year. It’s also important to get lots of social support for the big ones!

Two years ago, I made a New Year’s Resolution to quit smoking. But I did not make the resolution on New Year’s Eve and start the next day, that would just been a set up for failure (based on my experiences of trying that exact thing…multiple times….). What helped me actually keep the resolution on that occaision was a lot of planning ahead, mentally preparing myself, and telling everyone I knew what I was planning to do and asking them for their support. I asked people to keep their negative comments about how many times I’d tried to quit before to themselves, and instead encourage me to keep going. And, you know what? It actually worked.

So the idea is to make our grand goals into smaller, bite-sized chunks that we can more easily tackle. This way, we can chip away at our resolution instead of trying to take it all on at once.

What are three things you want to accomplish in 2012 in pursuit of a larger goal?

The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 3pm ET.

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Quickies: 01/04/2012

Will

Will

Will is the admin of Queereka, part of the Skepchick network. They are a cultural/medical anthropologist who works at the intersections of sex/gender, sexuality, health, and education. Their other interests include politics, science studies, popular culture, and public perceptions and understandings of anthropology. Follow them on Twitter at @anthrowill and Facebook at facebook.com/anthrowill.

23 Comments

  1. January 3, 2012 at 3:25 pm —

    My only goal this year is to stop hating myself. The steps for this include finally getting back on anti-depressants, finding a queer positive physician to address certain health issues and becoming more involved in my local queer community

    • January 3, 2012 at 5:18 pm —

      Those are, indeed, noble goals! Becoming involved with queer communities will certainly help. I hope you will stay involved with us here at Queereka!

      As for queer-positive physicians, have you checked the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association? http://www.glma.org/ They have a provider look-up that might be of use. If nothing else, perhaps you can contact some providers in a nearby town or city that might know of some queer-positive physicians in your area.

  2. January 3, 2012 at 5:41 pm —

    In pursuit of a larger goal:

    write every day
    spend time at conventions hanging out with my awesome friends
    watch less tv/movies

    • January 3, 2012 at 6:44 pm —

      What’s your larger goal?

      My boyfriend and I have seriously considered just ditching our cable, but there’s too many good shows that we’re addicted to. =( It’d be nice to not have that distraction with the amount of work I have to do during semesters, though.

  3. January 3, 2012 at 6:22 pm —

    I want to be kinder to people. I’m kind already, but I know tha I can be kinder yet. Theists tend to believe the worst of atheists, so I want to seize every opportunity to live random and directed kindness to continue proving that a lack of theistic belief does not mean a lack of human decency.

    I want to continue to grow bigender.net into the support site I wish had been around when I was young. Contracting a pro web dev is step one.

    I want to record my Voice Over demo very soon, in hopes of booking my first VO gig this year.

    All those combined lead me toward being the person I want to be.

    • January 3, 2012 at 6:43 pm —

      Those sound like great goals, Brin! Thanks for sharing. =)

  4. January 3, 2012 at 6:44 pm —

    I want to get on anti depressants again and if I’m luck follow that up with starting hormones

    the only other thing I want to accomplish is to successfully finish my probation so I can go back to doing what I really enjoy….. drugs

  5. January 3, 2012 at 6:52 pm —

    I want to buy a new car. If I keep up my current financial scheme my credit card should be paid off in February. After that I can either just have an extra $1000 a month or I can put it towards something. I’d like a hybrid.

    I’m aware it’s not much of a resolution so… I’d like to be the kind of person who drives a car built after I was born.

  6. January 3, 2012 at 8:52 pm —

    Yoga every day, walking every day, resistance bands training every day; this is all one resolution, really: get in shape already.

    Spend the absolute minimum: this is in service of two goals, paying off the damn credit cards and getting to con.txt this year.

    Be more social and to hell with the social anxiety disorder: see con.txt, and also stitch-n-bitch meetups with Internets people, and if I can work up the nerve and the money (but see ‘spend the absolute minimum’), the gay bar.

    • January 5, 2012 at 12:03 am —

      Oooh. I wish I could do yoga but I hear it takes practice. =/

      I find exercise a must everyday and a kind of treat.

      I am with you on social anxiety. Bars aren’t any fun anyway. =p

  7. January 4, 2012 at 2:56 am —

    Drink less.
    Play Squash at least once a week.
    Make time to get away sometimes instead of spending every weekend at home, maybe hiking, scuba diving, golf.

    Obviously the overarching goal is to be healthier.

    I’d also like to take my telescope out more, read more books and blog more often.

    As an aside, when I quit smoking, I woke up one morning and decided that was it, bought nicorette patches and didn’t pick up another one. I don’t think it would have worked for me if I’d have tried to plan in advance, I would have just kept putting it off. Of course it certainly helped that my friends were very supportive and continued to encourage me.

    • January 4, 2012 at 4:02 pm —

      Yeah, I’ve known some people who quit like that as well.

      From what I’ve read, the research on quitting methods has had mixed results. Some say snap decision is best, others say planning is best; some say cold turkey is best, others say using cessation aids (drugs, patches, gum, inhalers, etc.) is best.

      In my view, if someone wants to quit smoking, they should do the research and decide which method(s) will work best for them–especially if they’re like me and their snap decision(s) to quit usually lasted a few hours to a day tops. From what I’ve read, the more often people try to quit, the more likely they will eventually succeed. People shouldn’t give up, regardless of how many attempts.

  8. January 4, 2012 at 4:04 pm —

    I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions, but this year, I have an imperative: find a job. The job I’ve had for the last ten years came to an end on December 30th, so now I get to sample all that wonderful discrimination I’ve been hearing so much about (for the record, I was not fired for discrimination; my entire office was cut).

    I might just try to bypass that by working for myself. We’ll see how that works out.

    • January 5, 2012 at 2:29 am —

      Ouch! Well, good luck with the job search or self-employment! I hope things work out quickly. =)

  9. January 4, 2012 at 6:16 pm —

    Hmm. My goals for this year are get to living as a woman full time (probably not gonna happen but I need to set it as a goal so that I’ll actually get there eventually), start a transition blog in Arabic, and possibly start making atheist you-tube videos in arabic.

    Smaller steps include:
    Coming out as atheist to family
    Move out of rural’mcnowhereland to somewhere with trans resources
    Read Arabic books (My arabic needs to get up to speed)
    Write something in Arabic at least once week
    Guilt trip a female friend to take me clothes shopping
    Play less video games

    I’m gonna have a busy year I think.

    • January 5, 2012 at 2:31 am —

      Yes, that is quite a lot! I hope you will consider sharing your coming out as an atheist story with us after you do it! Good luck.

      • January 5, 2012 at 7:04 pm —

        Honestly it’s probably gonna be like this:
        “Hey guys, I’m an atheist”
        “What?”
        “I’m an atheist”
        “We’re hurt, sad, and confused, but we love you”

        I wish I could say I’m lucky, but honestly if my family disowns me I’d probably be more relieved that anything.

  10. January 4, 2012 at 11:56 pm —

    Hmmm..
    I guess for me. I need take control of my education and get a degree in something related to science, naturally. As for being healthy, no physical problems there. It’s really my pleasure to do a workout everyday.
    I also need to find more friends who I can relate to.

    Something small..
    Talk to counselor and/or talk to physics prof about degree.
    Join the school science community.

    Things to avoid..
    Sleeping late, staying up late.
    I really wish I enjoyed reading. Then I’d have an alternative to other things to take my time.

    • January 5, 2012 at 2:32 am —

      Yay for education!! One of my goals is to help improve the educational experience of undergraduates. =)

  11. January 5, 2012 at 8:26 am —

    My over-arching theme for this year is “Get ‘er done,” meaning I’ve been slacking in my creative, intellectual, personal, and professional pursuits, and I turn 35 this year which seems like a pivotal time to me for some reason. So, if only 12% of resolutions succeed, I’ve given myself about 8 or 9 resolutions in the hopes that one sticks. I’m only half kidding.

    1)Quit drinking. I actually quit drinking in October, but it was only supposed to be a 3 month thing. Thing is, I have a really, really hard time moderating my booze intake, so I’ve given this one an extension: I intend to be sober for the entirety of 2012.

    2)Eat out/order food in only once per month. When I quit drinking, I substituted with pizza, chinese food, hamburgers and sushi. Basically the 4000 empty beer calories a week was converted to 4000 empty food calories every 3 days. I am possibly one of the few to quit excessive drinking and GAIN weight.

    3) Write 2500 words per week. I do this thing, nanowrimo? every November, and one day I would like to be a published novelist. To do that I imagine that I must write novels, pretty much non-stop until I am published. It’s not the worst strategy, right?

    4) Go to the gym. In Queer parlance, I am a “bear” but would like very much to be a “muscle bear” (or thereabouts) by the end of the year. Past efforts have seen me work out 2-3 months and then stop for half a year.

    I’m also flirting with ditching pot, too, but that might be asking too much.

  12. January 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm —

    Every week I write my three big goals down in my notebook and then the tiny things I will do this week to help me accomplish them.

    My 3 big ones:
    *Be creative
    *Be healthier
    *Get rid of excess stuff

    This week I am:
    Making pomegranate jelly
    Taking walks
    Getting rid of 10 things a day
    writing thank you notes and
    reading over my last journal to remind myself of the lessons I learned in 2011.

  13. January 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm —

    I have simple goals for this year.

    Finish my second novel by March.
    Get GRS in May.
    Survive the loss of my favorite student without a severe emotional breakdown.
    See The Hobbit in December.
    Oh, and help folks a much as I can.

    That’s all.

  14. January 11, 2012 at 10:36 am —

    Finish up all my prep for transition (clothes, voice, hair, goodness knows, it’s a chore and a nightmare).

    Do the transition.

    Begin active trans advocacy.

    (I don’t feel like I can do the advocacy from a position of experience until I’ve actually run through transition and am out at work, in public, etc.)

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