In case you didn’t know, it’s a new year, a new beginning. In fact, January gets its name from Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and transitions.
It is common at this time to celebrate with new beginnings of our own. Resolutions. Things about which to be resolute or resolved. Interestingly, the word resolve (from which resolution is derived) means to loosen or the break apart into smaller bits.
Perhaps that’s why my resolutions always end in failure. I’m loose on my commitment within weeks of making it, eventually I break off little bits of my decision until I’m back to the way things were before I made them.
That’s more or less what happened to my writing goals from the last year. So what do I do about this year? Should I not make goals since I’m already in a defeatist mindset?
Well, maybe. But I think goals are still good things to have. At the least, they help us aspire to do new things. I just need to be realistic about my expectations. After all, why make a resolution about doing something brand new when I don’t know what kind of commitment it will take? I’m better off working to improve the things that I already understand.
That’s why this year, my goal isn’t to be more organized (sorry wife and employer), or to tackle some new writing project (I’ve got plenty of old ones that need finishing before I start something new anyway). My goal this year is to be more intentional about experiencing life.
What does that mean?
Take reading for example. I read a lot of books, but I couldn’t tell you how many or which ones I ready last year. This year, I’m going to make a list to see what I’ve accomplished. I’m going to be intentional about experiencing books.
In the same way, I’d like to approach my other daily tasks and responsibilities with an attitude of awareness, not simply doing, but watching myself do. It’s what Terry Pratchett would call Second Thoughts. Most people live with First Vision, but rarely take time to reflect on what they see. Second Thoughts reflect. But since I have a terrible memory, I’ll have to rely on external methods like blogging, pictures, and journals record these reflections.
What are your thoughts on resolutions this year?