29 January 2009

The 90 Day Challenge

I'm issuing a 90 day challenge to myself, effective today. I originally planned to issue an 100 day challenge, but life got in the way. I'll give you a piece of my reasoning.

CNN is constantly reminding me President Obama has 100 days to bring about the change he advertised during the campaign. The 100 days countdown is admittedly a media invention - another open, or animation telling your brain to perk up, pay attention, and turn your head toward the TV. It's also a way to let political news junkies ease back into reality.

We've counted down to Inauguration Day and up on Election Day. We've waited hours between primaries and gotten by with punditry between debates. We've been counting for two years and now the political season is over. We're going back to the boring business of being at war, having obese children, and detrimental climate change. Sure we've added a recession, but it's not the same as having 15 presidential candidates. So we have one last fix. One final countdown to news that's "nothing spectacular" and "mostly bad:" the first 100 days of the Obama Administration. There are 90 days left and I've decided to take some of the pressure for myself.

Media invention or not, President Obama is doing as much as he can as fast as he can. do it He's capped salaries, funded family planning in other countries, signed a directive to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, and ordered government agencies to be more open to the media. I bet he's also spent time with his family and been to the gym. What have you done in the last ten days? What have I accomplished? The answer (for me anyway) is nothing worth noting. The next 90 days will be different.

Barack Obama is one man. The things he accomplishes are things one person (with a full staff and super secret Blackberry) can get done. He's working to bring the country to the best place it can be. In my case, I only have control over my life. But I see no reason why I can't do the same.

I'm setting out to get my "house in order." I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I do have criteria. My tasks for the next 90 days must be for the greater good of my person, relationship, household, professional development, finances - the overall good of Danie. I plan to start small to test the waters. The point is to better the world that revolves within my control. If Barack Obama can help me, the least I can do is help myself.