Reasons for Resolution

January 4, 2011

As Kelly Clarkson’s poppy girl-power sass echoes through my bedroom, I curiously ponder what everyone is hoping for in 2011.

It might be hard to admit that life is really a continual cycle of repeated moments, but the truth remains. This fact becomes brashly apparent to me at the beginning of each year, more so than any other time.

The media continues to tout the secrets to reaching new weight loss goals, a new you for the new year, unforgettable celebrity faux-pas of the past, and, of course, the stand-by: trends to toss and forthcoming fads.

We are all forced, or maybe subconsciously persuaded, to evaluate our lives and look to the future. For everyone, this means something slightly different. Finances, no doubt, for many; a career change for others; health improvements; home improvements; world travel.

These are all admirable goals. I, for one, plan to become more organized, grow my writing career, eat better and improve my Spanish.

Goals keep us striving to advance, to improve ourselves. There is something very beautiful and unifying about that.

And, when we finally reach the top of that hill we are climbing, we find that the view is not only breathtaking but also inspiring, and then quickly set our sights on a new challenge. Because that sense of pride and personal achievement is not something that can be bought and shipped to our door. Maybe that’s why it feels so good.

And, admittedly, that’s anything but cookie cutter.

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Goal Keeper

July 23, 2010

I’m turning over a new leaf, so to speak.

I hesitate to use that phrase–it’s quite a bit overused. I tend to roll my eyes when I hear people say it, thinking, Yeah right. They won’t last a week.

But I have come to see that setting goals is a very common and beautiful human activity. I personally love to set goals. It keeps life interesting and exciting, inviting possibilities for change and discovery. We see areas of improvement in our lives or realize a desirable, new path and subsequently turn in that direction.

It’s slightly addictive. Scratch that, very addictive!

It’s obvious that others must feel this way too. (I’m disappointed to realize I’m not as different as I thought.)

Now, some of us admittedly don’t have the follow-through we would like. Maybe many of our goals remain hopes for the future: fitting into our pre-pregnancy jeans, smoking our last cigarette, talking to “that” guy or girl, cutting back on television-viewing time, keeping more regular correspondence with family, being a better spouse, eating healthier, listening more and talking less.

I have to actually hold myself back from setting too many goals. If I didn’t, I would be changing on a daily basis, with zero focus. I can’t help it—I love change!

I have too many activities that I have started and in effect, quickly ended due to my ADD re-focusing: knitting, piano, drums, various obscure job opportunities, Spanish, snowboarding, cooking, meeting new people, and an endless list of things I can only but dream of for the future.

However, writing, travel, health and the Bible are four things that remain. I think of them as my figurative anchors for stability of mind.

I can’t ignore their draw and staying power in my life.

And still, there’s need for improvement here.

Specifically with my writing.

I’ve never been one for bosses. I don’t need prodding to do my work. I always hated going to public school. I was the one child in school who begged my parents daily to let me home school. My cries fell on deaf ears. They thought it would be “good for my development.” And it probably was, but darn it, I didn’t care then!

So, priding myself on being a self-starter, I never thought I would reach a point where I would need to set strict rules on myself and then, share these with others in order to motivate myself. But, stop everything, it has happened.

It’s true, I love my blog. I love having an outlet to write untamed and to grow the fledgling amount of creativity in my brain.

Yet, I find myself struggling to post on a consistent basis. As much as I love to write, I’m not a pleasure writer. I don’t compose stories and poems endlessly in my journal without a purpose. I don’t create narratives in my head. No, if I write, I need a reason to write. I need to have an assignment—many times with a deadline looming. I need to know that people will read my musings, whether they enjoy them is not the question per say. I just need something.

This is the conflict that kept me from blogging consistently up till about a year ago. And even now, I would argue (as would others, ahem, Andrew!) that I’m hardly regular in my posts. But I aim to change that NOW! And I am telling my readers so that when I am tempted to forego my writing until tomorrow, my readers’ imaginative protests will ring in my ear and thus serve as my incentive.

So here is my promise: to post a blog every Monday and Thursday. I can’t commit to a specific time, but it will be freshly pressed by Tuesday and Friday mornings, guaranteed. So please, check regularly to make sure I’m keeping my promise, ok?!

What’s the point of a goal if we don’t meet it?