Goals, Not Resolutions

It’s that time of year, isn’t it?  The time where you make this long overdone drawn out list of all those little items you want to check off accomplishing during the next 365 days.  Yeah, I’ve had my crazy bouts with resolutions.  A jab here, a jab there, but in the end, the resolutions knock me out by the second bell.  I fall flat on my face cold.  Why do we set these unattainable heights?  Do we like failure?  Do we purposely sabotage ourselves?  Oh sure, some of these we can reach — the easy stuff like cleaning out the refrigerator but even that takes time and a little bit of elbow grease.  Do we really have that kind of stamina?  I mean, when’s the last time you cleaned your refrigerator?  I’ll bet that chicken parm is still stuffed in the back of your fridge growing arms and legs by now.  And scrub those shelves?  Actually, I did good.  Sweet and sour sauce had spilled in the shelf on the door of my fridge and I scrubbed it clean.  Thing is, it stayed there for probably about a year before I actually scrubbed it, so not so good.

And the big stuff?  How many of you have huge items on your list?  Humongous, taller than the trees, more like outer space kind of stuff.  Like writing a book.  Or finishing a book.  Or losing 50 pounds.  Or learning a new skill or hobby.  Reading one book a week.  Meeting the man of your dreams and getting married.  Okay, some of this is absolutely attainable but how many of us actually do it?  We intend to do it.  We set it up, we dream, we even sometimes write it on our calendar in steps called an action plan but does it actually get done?

I cannot tell you how many years have passed by right along with all my hopes and dreams of all those resolutions I had set up at the beginning of the year only to find myself the same weight, books still sleeping in my computer unfinished, still working too many hours with too little money, not getting out and dating (and no, I’m not really looking for Mr. Right — not just now, anyway) and too tired to stay up till midnight toasting with my glass of champagne $7 bottle of my favorite Sweet Red.  So I close out another year of dashed hopes and dreams with my wine/whine and cheese (but at 8pm since I can’t hang with the big dogs), yet feeling hopeful that the new year will bring something different.  As if.

What is it about the end of an aging year, filled with incompletes, that gives us such hope and downright giddiness that this beckoning year full of wonder and newness will bring us joy and fulfillment and success and accomplishment?  Why is it we feel we have to wait till January 1 to begin our lives?  To begin something new?  To finally give us the surge of energy to actually clean out our refrigerator?  Why can we not feel this surge the night before any new day?  How about Tuesday, June 17?  The night before, you make a date to actually work on your book the next day and set a deadline to finish within 60 days.  You work on it daily.  Not because you planned to or you need to or you want to or it would feel really good to actually finish that book.  You do it because you HAVE to.  Because you can feel it in every fiber of your being that if you don’t finish this book, you will surely die.  You will die old and unfinished and in your last gasping breath, you ask yourself, why the heck didn’t I finish that book?  It was good.  It was meaningful.  Now, I’ll never know how great it could have been, because I didn’t finish it.  People could have benefited from that work of love.  But it’s too late now, ’cause *sigh* (your dead).

Well I’m not setting resolutions for 2015.  I’m setting 12 goals that are somewhat realistic.  One goal per month.  If When (yes, WHEN) each one is reached in that given month, I can either scooch up the one from the following month to finish a little sooner or set more goals that can be somewhat easily accomplished during the same month.  I WILL NOT set so many goals that I become overwhelmed that my eyeballs roll back in my head and throw in the towel before I even begin.

And, rather than just setting goals of stuff I HAVE to do, I’m also setting spiritual goals that are totally doable and good for me as well as good for the universal collective, such as experience and share joy and love, happiness and friendship, silliness and laughter.  To forgive someone.  To smile more at strangers and hug my loved ones more.  Actually sit down with my bestie more often and talk and laugh over coffee or tea of wine or cherry limeade (I have the BEST recipe eva!)

So…

Onward!  I’m working on my January goal today!!  Actually, I started it a few days ago.  I’ll keep you posted.

How ’bout you?  Are you setting resolutions?  Or goals?  How many have you set for the year?  And are you waiting till Jan. 1 to start?  And if you would like to share your plans for 2015, please let us know so we can cheer you on.

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Author: Carol B Sessums

Writer, Editor, Coffee Addict, Lover of Mountains. Lives to shrink the planet, one story and connection at a time.

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