Reflections on a Resolution

In true New Year’s fashion, the Internet is exploding right now with posts about resolutions, new beginnings, and fresh starts. People are swearing up and down that 2013? It’s going to be their year. This is the time it’s finally going to stick.

Sorry kids, but from most of you, I’m just not buying it.

Sure, maybe this is the year some people will actually carry through on what they promised themselves on January 1. Maybe they really will lose those last few pounds or be kinder to strangers or actually commit to having less stress in their lives. But my money’s on March rolling around and people having forgotten all about their resolutions.

Not to say that those who resolve to better themselves in the new year don’t have the best intentions at heart. Obviously they want to make significant changes in their lives, for themselves and for others. They want to make a difference, and the very first day of a brand new year is the perfect time to proclaim to the world exactly how they’re going to make that happen.

But instead of playing that game, I’ll doing myself one better. On top of that set of resolutions, I’m making myself a list of goals.

I know. Sounds like kind of a cop-out, huh? “Goals and resolutions–kind of the same thing, dummy.” No way. Not in my book. Goals are measurable. Goals have an end date where you look back and decide if you pass or if you fail. A point where something should have been accomplished, and if it wasn’t, you have to stop and think hard about why.

Why didn’t I follow through on what I said I was going to achieve? Why did I fall short? What happened that made me decide my goal was no longer important enough to deserve my time? Is it important enough to try again?

The goals I’m setting for myself are big and major and life-changing. I have a lot of work to do. I”m going to make it happen ASAP. Thankfully, I’m a crazy A-type that loves checking things off a list.

So where is that list, you may ask? If I can talk such a big game, why not throw it up here for everyone to see? Why not let the world wide web judge me when the time comes?

Because public shaming isn’t the way I have to get my own attention. (Plus, the fact that maybe four people read these posts doesn’t exactly equal the massive peer pressure I’d need to make a real difference.) No, my motivation has to come from within. That list is getting written on a piece of paper in giant font. It’s getting posted on the bathroom mirror, on my dresser drawer, on the front door of my apartment. Anywhere it is going to stare me in the face, everyday, asking me why I haven’t made a change. Why I haven’t done the things I promised myself I would do.

The goals may be off the table, but the resolutions? Here you go. The list of things I actively resolve to do in the next 365 days. Intangible, but still very very real, and all about making me into a better person:

In 2013, I resolve to not rely on others to do my dirty work for me. I resolve to not be so hard on myself. I resolve to stop being ruled by technology. I resolve to not be so resistant to change. I resolve to stop letting my fears dictate how I live my life. I resolve to never not do something important just because it may be hard.

In 2013, I resolve to live my life with intention. I resolve to respect the life and the love that is given to me. I resolve to be honest and open with the way I feel. I resolve to never take no for an answer when it comes to what I truly believe. I resolve to never take people for granted. I resolve to stop hiding behind what has happened in the past and face up to the future I’ve envisioned (and the hard work it’s going to take to get there). I resolve to never stop fighting for the ones that I love.

This year, I want to dance more. Love more. Kiss more. Cry less. Give more of myself without asking for more in return. Write more letters. Take more pictures. Bake more cookies. Pet more puppies.

But most importantly, I’m going to do the things I know will make me happy.

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