I dislike New Year’s Resolutions. They feel too Lenten and sacrificial. “I’m gonna quit smoking this year.” or “I’m gonna lose 20 lbs this year.” Resolutions feel punitive, singular and failure is exceedingly easy. They’re also intellectually lazy. Well of COURSE you should quit smoking and whoring around! Duh! Make a resolution that will make you a truly better person and help you grow – evolve – as a human being. Call me an over achiever but I make a series of goals for the new year. I think of it like short term goal planning much like a corporation that goes on retreat to some outdoors adventure camp and bungee jumps and zip lines in some drum beating, team building, mutually embarrassing field trip. Except I do it alone.
Admittedly, I didn’t do this exercise last year because at the eve of the New Year in 2011 the prospects of my largest and longest dream looked permanently dashed and the likelihood of me building my home had crashed upon rocks leaving me heart broken. I saw no future in this dream I had held so tight and so guarded for so many year but had courageously set free upon the world only to be repeatedly denied. So, as I started at a sad Christmas tree in a dingy rental home, the New Year’s Resolutions were forgotten, jettisoned out the bilge pump with the rest of the emotional flotsam of my so called life.
Funny how life turns on a dime so quickly. Odd how in the midst of despair and what I tried to label hopelessness, I found renewed determination to press once more, one last time for my dream and Viola! I have a home. I have THE HOME. And I have faith in myself, conviction that my tenacity and perseverance and sheer block headed willfulness can often (although not always) get me where I want to go. I accept that the path is not easy. Shit, I think I make it harder for myself. I have this ridiculous affliction of periodically feigning damsel-distress signals when I really do not need rescuing and am no where near distress. They’re brief, little Brat fits and they pass. The rest of the time I am a dervish.
So as today’s eve comes to pass, I make my goals for the year ahead. I make personal goals for my finances, my home, my hobbies, my physical fitness, my art. I make professional goals for studying more (especially since I have dual board re-certifications this year), and expanding my acumen. I make business goals for the office. I make spiritual goals about my faith, my time in meditation and prayer. I make goals for my heart and all of these are PROMISES, not resolutions. These lists are promises I make to myself and towards others and the world to live more wholehearted, more loving, more present. I promise to be more generous with time and my talents…….and my love.
Have you made goals for yourself? Have you set objectives for this dawning new year? Care to share them?