Do you make resolutions? Or, more to the point, how is your track record in keeping them?
It’s that time again, the time we look back at the past twelve months, pull out our failures* and disappointments, and commit ourselves to doing a better job in the new year. There are other variations on the theme, but the fact remains, if I want to get physically fit in the new year, for example, I need to state a specific goal (I want to be physically fit), decide on the measure of success (I want to regularly exercise four times per week for thirty minutes) and break the goal into measurable, achievable mini-goals (I will start by foregoing use of the remote control to change television channels for the next two weeks).
The problem lies somewhere between the want to, and the will to. I love making lists: expertly planning out strategies and mapping the interim steps needed to make it to a predetermined result. I do it all the time at work, and at home when I’m working on a quilt or putting together a teaching plan. Applying those principles to what I want to change about myself, however, is a different story. Oftentimes, the “will” tells the “want” to take a hike.
Last year, however, was different. The goal that was highest on my (fairly short) list – the one thing I really wanted to accomplish for 2006 – was achieved. It was something worthwhile (reading through the Bible in the year), measurable (well, duh) and easily broken into little chunks (Diane abhors a vacuum: I couldn't stand to leave pages blank in the date book I used for each days’ journal on the reading. It really helped keep me on track and on schedule).
It gives me hope for this year. I’ve made another list, and we’ll see how well I manage with those resolutions. I’ll let you know in about 364 days.
*Well, excuse my politically-incorrect, self-image destroying, ill-chosen use of “failures”. Let’s see, shouldn’t that be something like “less than optimal outcomes” or “unleveraged opportunities”? Bah – we all royally mess up sometimes, and it doesn’t make it feel any less horrible to call it something other than what it is.