I'm not a big fan of New Year's resolutions. I drove by a local church this week and saw this on the reader board:
Resolutions: In one year and out the next
Yep, that pretty much sums it up.
For one thing, I find that this process of "making resolutions" often becomes a kind of open season on my life and my person. I tally up all the things I dislike about myself, my circumstances, and my life accomplishments (or lack thereof) and then I resolve to change them. As if my fairy godmother is going to show up on New Year's Eve and transform me into a princess—or, at the very least, a much cooler, smarter, and more successful version of me.
And I suppose that's the real problem. The making of resolutions seems to tap into my natural tendency toward all-or-nothing thinking. I don't just want to make a little change here or there—I want a complete overhaul. Anything less hardly seems worth the effort.
Still, as I was waiting for an appointment this week, I was confronted with the statistic that people who specifically make resolutions are ten times more likely to achieve those positive changes than people who desire the same changes but don't specifically make a resolution (Source: http://www.proactivechange.com/resolutions/statistics.htm). Wow. Ten times? Kind of makes you want to sit down right this minute and make some resolutions, doesn't it?
All of this brings me to the conclusion that perhaps what I am most in need of here is to practice the art of setting reasonable goals. To that end, my overarching resolution for 2010 is not to reach some arbitrary level of achievement but rather to make progress. Specifically, I want to make progress in these areas:
My intimacy with God—whether that means re-learning how to pray, being more deliberate about studying scripture, or figuring out how to incorporate God into more of my daily life.
My health—whether that means symptom management, pursuing more invasive testing and treatment, or simply learning to live within my limitations.
My Work—whether that means changing jobs, changing careers, or changing my definition of success in my current job.Yes, these are all big things. Huge things. Things that have been in process for a while now. Things I could never hope to accomplish in a year's time. But that's exactly the point. I'm not looking to accomplish anything. I'm just resolving to make progress. I'm setting these up as goal posts down the road—way, way down the road—so that I know where I'm heading. If the only thing I accomplish in the next 12 months is to take one step closer in each of these areas, this year will have been a smashing success.
And to make things more interesting, I've also come up with a list of fun things I hope to do this year:
*Write more poetry—this shouldn't be too hard considering I only wrote four poems last year!
*Comment more often on the blogs I read—now that I'm a blogger, I understand how important it is to know that someone is listening when you pour your heart out in cyberspace. So don't be alarmed if you start hearing from me more often :o).
*Take a trip to California to visit my dear friend Laura—I've been wanting to do this for the last 5 years or so and it just hasn't happened. But I'm hopeful this might be the year.
* Finish the "Growing Is Beautiful" collage I started nearly a year ago—perhaps I shall complete it for my one-year blogging anniversary.
*Visit new photography locations around the area—maybe the Rhododendron Garden in Federal Way or the Bellevue Botanical Garden. I'm getting excited already. How many days until spring?
*Learn how to make amigurumi—I know you're dying to know what that is, so go ahead and Google it.
*Finish the infamous filing project I've been avoiding for five whole years—I wouldn't normally put this on the list of fun things to do, but I already started working on it last weekend and it's going so well that it actually is fun. Yeah, I know. I'm weird. But that's why you love me, isn't it?There now. I've just increased my chances of success by tenfold. Want to join me?