It’s January 1st. and today I learned that apparently New Year’s resolutions aren’t cool anymore. Phrases like “more grace less goals” (as if that’s not a resolution itself) are commonplace when I ask people about their hopes and plans for 2013. Maybe it’s a hipster thing, and the seemingly popular obsession with doing the unpopular until its popular and then switching things up again?
These “resolution abstainers” are claiming that they make goals and track progress constantly, so they don’t need to do it now. I know enough about them to know that if this is true then they’ve either got the wrong goals or that they’re lying. I say you can’t change the rules of the game until you win the game, otherwise you’re just a loser who blames the rules for losing.
I make goals and track them, but I always use the year change and my June birthday as bookmarks to remind me to make a conscious effort to asses my goals and the state of my progress. French novelist Marcel Proust said that “It is always during a passing state of mind that we make lasting resolutions”. I think he was on to something. If nothing else this is a great time of year to tap into this great collective energy to improve your life. Join a community of supporters, maybe a meetup group, try an app like Lift, or use a fitness bracelet like the Nike Fuel Band or Jawbone Up and build a social community around your goals. You often hear the common advice to surround yourself with people better than you. I want to be around people who want to make a difference in their lives and in the lives of others. Status quo people do little but drain you, they’ve got no energy or inertia of their own so they steal yours.
My BIG Picture
This year I didn’t have any real resolution in mind when I started thinking about it, but I forced myself to sit down and review my big picture anyways. I was able to better integrate some goals, adjust a few things, and remove a few things including a non-profit I worked on starting last year (World Hunger Institute). I realized it just didn’t fit well or compliment the general thrust of my life narrative at this point. It’s still there, and I hope to come back to it at some point because I’m passionate about it, but for now I’m focusing on just a few things for the year ahead. Things like finish a few books I’ve been writing, complete my Doctoral coursework and get my research underway, and make this blog into something great.
Reviewing my goals for last year I saw that my biggest “failure” wasn’t a failure at all. My goal was to finish a script I’d been working on and submit query letters to agents and production companies.
Here are just a handful of the rejection letters I got:
Not that they didn’t like my script, but that they wouldn’t even read it. It felt like a failure at the time but when I review my goals as written I accomplished what I set out to do. Am I giving up on my script? No, but I’m giving myself some credit.
When I asked around about new years resolutions my sister-in-law said her’s was to make a difference in someone’s life. That struck me. While some of us are resolving to make a difference in the lives of others some are refusing to even make a difference in their own life. I’d challenge anyone who says their not making any resolutions this year to make a resolution for someone else then – resolve to make a positive difference in someone’s life. Or maybe if you don’t feel like living consciously and deliberately then don’t get in the way of those that do.
So 2013; I want to make 2013 the year where I really make a difference in making my life make a difference in the lives of others.
Also check out The Resolution Matrix
What are your resolutions?