Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year's non-Resolutions

I am not a New Year's Resolution type of person. I'm not much of a goal setter, either. Everyone says to make your goals precise and reachable, but when I've done this, I inevitably fail, and then feel like a failure. I don't think that's the point of setting goals, or making resolutions, so I gave up on that. Besides, I'm not a super organized person, so making a resolution in my mind often means I can't even remember it next month, Even if I write it down, I find that I easily forget it. And if I do manage to remember it, by the time I do, the goal has often been revised or circumstances have changed in such a way that the goal no longer even applies.

Here's an analogy from yoga class. Often, the yoga teacher will have each person silently set an intention for the class session that day as we let go of the rest of the world to focus on yoga for this one hour. Usually my intention is something along the lines of "I just want to make it through the class." While I love yoga, it does push my physical limits sometimes, especially when balance or strength are elements of the pose, so sometimes getting through it is all I can hope for.

I feel the same way about life sometimes. Just getting through the day ahead--or the week, month, etc.--is my best goal.

So, I don't do resolutions.

However, my friend and fellow writer, Joanna Marple, wrote this blog post the other day, and it really spoke to me. Instead of resolutions, she suggests we choose a word that we wish to be the focus and intention for the coming year. Hers is serendipity.

I can get behind this kind of thinking. I chose the word EXPAND. In all areas of my life--work, friends, writing, music, travel, cooking, all of it--I can focus on expanding my horizons, increasing the number of new experiences, looking at things in new ways. It makes me think of expanding my mind by reading, listening, and learning. Expanding my circle of people, especially writing people.

This isn't a goal or resolution I can fail at. I can expand my life in so many ways that every day provides opportunities. Maybe it's just a mindset or a mind game, but this feels so much more useful than resolution making. So I'm on it.

If you'd like to join in, feel free to comment with your word and what it means to you. Otherwise, just keep on writing, which is what I'm going to do.

2 comments:

Scott said...

Great word! Too much of my expanding last year had to do with my waist size. But then, last year I DID set a goal to improve my waist, and usually "improve" means "increasem" so there you go.

Seriously, expanding in the ways you suggest can make all of us better writers.

Bruce Luck said...

I like this idea of a word rather than a resolution as the focus and intention for this new year.

My word is going to be GRATITUDE. My life is blessed and I’ve got so many things going in my favor, Yet I want more. I’ve got a wonderful spouse, a great family, a house and food on the table, a passion for writing and time to pursue it. I need to step back, appreciate the things I’ve got and show my gratitude.