This time of year, many of us are talking about New Year’s resolutions. But it seems more and more, when I ask people about their resolutions, the response is, “I don’t make resolutions.”
I must admit, even the anticipation of hearing this raises the hair on the back of my neck. Or, it would if I had any hair on the back of my neck. I’m not sure why that is, so I thought I’d analyze the reasons in a blog entry.
Upon denying they make resolutions, many people distinguish between goals and resolutions. So, I thought the first thing I’d do is go to one of my favorite websites, Dictionary.com to check out the distinction between a goal and a resolution. There, I found a distraction in the Word of the Day, which was “compotation” and the word in its definition, “tippling,” which I particularly liked. But, I digress. Back to resolution vs. goal:
[rez-uh–loo-shuh n] noun
- a formal expression of opinion or intention made.
- a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
- the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
- the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute;firmness of purpose
1. the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.
Next, I hope you’ll indulge me while I brainstorm about the reasons for my “ire” over two little words—“no resolutions”:
- Hearing “I don’t make resolutions” kind of leaves me with the same feeling I had as a child when someone said, “No, I don’t want to play with you.”
- A New Year’s Eve without resolutions is like blowing out birthday candles without making a wish, French fries without ketchup, a movie without popcorn, a fairy godmother without magic.
- Maybe hearing “I don’t do resolutions” simply leaves me speechless and in an awkward silence. What is one to say in response?
- “Well, bless your little heart.”
4. Perhaps it’s simply a sign of grouchiness that comes with age. I always was an early bloomer.
So, in the spirit of Resolution’s definition #3 above, I have a resolution solution to the resolutions vs. goals debate:
Some resolutions can be made into goals, but some cannot. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be made. Take for example the resolutions listed in this photo by Paulo Coehlo. These are certainly some of my resolutions for 2013, but let’s see how well I can make goals:
1) Kiss slowly – place your lips onto those of someone you love and without being obvious, monitor the second hand on your watch up and to the count of at least ten seconds. Do this at least five times a day, seven days a week.
2) Laugh insanely – This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Have drinks with an insanely funny friend. Get out the fart machine. Listen to someone else laugh. Here are a few of my favorites:
Begin and end at least three days a week with laughter. Problem with this one is, setting goals for insane laughter is hardly insane.
3) I think you get the picture, therefore I won’t entertain bore you with the goal-setting details of “love truly.”
4) However, I think when it comes to “forgive quickly,” I will set a goal. Never withhold forgiveness beyond the length of time you can hold your breath.
I digress . . . again. Back to my point. There are benefits to both resolutions and goals, so I’ve resolved to do both this New Year’s Eve. In addition to the resolutions Mr. Coehlo listed in his photo, here are a few of my resolutions, followed by a few goals:
RESOLUTIONS (This is the magical part.)
- Focus on the positive.
- Watch less news and listen to more music.
- Try to see the “other side.”
- Live in the moment. Try not to reflect on the past or worry about the future.
GOALS (This is the practical part.)
- Get up by 5:30 each morning and spend from 5:30-7:00 either writing or editing.
- Spend 30 minutes on either the treadmill or rowing machine, at least four days a week.
- Do 20 minutes of yoga three days a week.
- Complete and upload “Mo’s Shadow” to Kindle by June 30.
- Complete and upload a book on haiku to Kindle by the end of 2013.
- Complete the first draft of the sequel to The Red Kimono by the end of 2013.
- Develop a speaking repertoire, adding at least three different topics.
Whether you are magical, practical or both (like me) about what’s in store for your 2013, I wish you the best of luck and happiness throughout the year!