My sense is every day is a good day to reflect on where I have been, where I am and where I am going; but I understand most people don’t see it that way. For most, though, the turn to the New Year does suggest a time for reflection, and it can often be seen in the resolutions people make.
To begin, I understand the many who refuse to make a resolution of any kind. I have thought that way myself, but of late I have come to see that I am missing out with such an attitude. There is a lot to be said for setting goals. The problem, I believe, is people don’t know how to set realistic goals. I feel most people set idealistic goals instead, like a kind of dreamy, imaginary “wouldn’t-it-be-nice” kind of goal.
Dieting and quitting smoking (for example) might be laudable goals; but it is not realistic to assume you will put down the fork or the cigarette on New Year’s Eve and not pick them up again on New Year’s Day. To do the exercise sort of thing (for example) requires a plan and generally a great deal of help and support. Rare is the hermit with enough willpower to make such a dream a reality.
The other flaw with most resolutions is precisely that they depend on others, and of course we cannot make resolutions for others. You might want to improve your marital relationship or spend more time with the kids, but unless your spouse and kids are willing, you have no way of making that happen. This brings us to my resolution revolution, and you might call it a simple list to consider:
1. Understand you are setting goals, not ideals. Everyone would like to be healthy and happy, but have you watched the Biggest Loser? Trust me, you won’t just wake in the morning minus 100 pounds. Set goals, like steps. Leave the dreams in dreamland.
2. Be as realistic as you can about what you can accomplish that does not depend on anyone else. A better marriage or time with the kids is fine and well, but really about all we can do is resolve to TRY and be a better (more loving, supportive) mother, father, husband, wife. Even that, as a goal is rather nebulous. I have one of those:
In my reflection of the past year, I saw several places where I felt I was truly walking with the Lord – in his will and in his way. I saw a large number of places where, I may have been doing good stuff, but it was not exactly what God had in mind for me and my life. For 2011, I have thus resolved to try and get closer to the source (as I like to put it) and increase the times I walk hand in hand with God.
After that, I have what some might call a bucket list. These are not things I want to do before I die, but things I feel I can realistically achieve in 2011: Go to a symphony concert. Read a Classic. Mail and keep mailing my writing to agents/publishers until the works are sold or I run out of agents/publishers… blog about getting closer to the source… that’s for 2011…