Some Thoughts on Resolutions, And My Word for 2018
Happy New Year.
I used to start each year, as is tradition, with a list of resolutions or goals. And, like so many people, my goals would go well: for an hour, or a day, or maybe a week. And then I would mess up, or, often, forget that I’d even set the goal. And at some point down the track I would remember those resolutions and feel a sense of failure.
More recently, I’ve realised that while goals or aims are good, blanket statements of what I will or won’t do are often self-defeating. What do we focus on when we give up something? The very thing we are trying to give up. And so sugar/alchohol/facebook checking/whatever are more firmly placed in my thoughts than they might have been. And I feel lack. And I crave that thing.
And, while when I focus on what I will take up, is definitely more positive, the focus is still on the thing. I WILL exercise every day. I WILL write three books this year. Great resolutions, but what happens when circumstances outside my control stop me from reaching the goal? What if I vow to exercise every day, but then break my leg on January 2? I have failed, even though the broken leg was outside my control. Or if I vow to write three books, but the first one takes all year to get just right. So, the book I do write is brilliant (I can hope!) but I have failed because I haven’t written three of them.
So, for me, while goal setting is still useful , I choose not to make lofty year-long goals. Instead, shorter term ones are more useful. For example, this month I am doing Anastasia Suen’s 30 for 30 Challenge, and aiming to find 30 minutes every day for 30 days to just write. I’m a writer, that should be easy. But I have to confess that after a busy few months, I have found that putting writing first has gone a bit by the wayside. So doing this challenge for thirty days is a good way to start off the year.
But, while I don’t make yearlong resolutions, I do think having some sort of theme for the start of a new year is a good one. This is why I like the idea of setting a word or theme for the year. A word that guides what I want to BE rather than what I’ll DO. For me, tin 2018, my focus word is FLOURISH.
As a verb, to flourish is to grow and thrive in healthy, vigorous ways. And, as a noun, a flourish is a bold or successful act. For me, this year, I want to thrive, to participate fully in all life offers and to do so with courage. I also want to help people around me to flourish: though my personal acts, through my writing and speaking, and in any other way I can.
Along the way, I do have some more specific goals surrounding my writing, my speaking, my health and my personal life, but I think if focus on flourishing, those other goals (or better things) will be met. So in 2018 I will flourish - whatever life throws at me.
What about you? Do you have a goal? A resolution? A word?