Happy Newness: A Year in Preview
A thought circles back to me when I am face to face with genuine goal-setting, and it has become an old adage by now, I think: If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got. (My Grammar Geek forgives this error for the lovely rhythmic flow of the sound byte - still G.G. lives inside my head and won't quite let me get by with it.) I confess that I learned this adage in more or less a corporate pep rally for a company I worked for years ago. I have been conditioned from an early age to disregard most of what I learn in such settings as white noise. Still, there is a ring of truth to this that I have to acknowledge.
If I'm standing on the edge of a new year, a new life, a new decision of whatever sort, and I continue to, in essence, still be me, I will notice a pattern that I may not like. A true New Years Resolution, in my opinion, does not belong on a list. It often remains unspoken, and doesn't even have to come at New Years. It it the kind of internal change which begins with a silent realization, and by the time anyone else knows it, you have already been practicing your new change for a length of time.
I am generally unimpressed by resolutions that start with "go to the gym" or "give to the poor." Unless such a decision comes from a deep place and actually taps into your self worth, and unless it is accompanied by humility, it is probably just another exercise in self-defeat. Typical resolution lists seem to result from little more than an urge to fill in the blank on the "What's Your Resolution" survey at work.
I guess in order to determine a true resolution, I have to know myself. To make things even more complicated, I have different goals, depending on which "me" you're talking about. This Teacher-Parent-Writer-Working Artist-Business Woman- and "born too late hippie-chick" is not easily tied down to a single resolution. Of course I suspected that by the time I got to the end of this blog, I would have cornered myself into announcing one anyway. So I'll choose one with plenty of wiggle room:
To Live Intentionally
It is not as much of a resolution as it is a philosophy, but it is, in fact one which I strive toward. Is this a short-term goal? A long-term one? Yes. This is a thought which, if lived fully, informs my thoughts minute to minute and year to year. It brings the responsibility of choice back to me, although it places a greater value on the effort than the result. It gets me off my to-do list on my fill-in-the-blank style of resolution making, and gets me more into the questions of "How do I get there?" and "How do I live?" And for you fill-in-the-blankers: I can put "I resolve . . ." at the beginning of this and end up with a perfectly nice complete sentence.
So however you solve the question of declaring your resolution, setting your intention, or assessing your goals, I hope something here has value to you, and I hope that in fact, you have a Happy New Year.