The past few years, I’ve tried different methods of planning out new year’s resolutions–I’ve made lists of several resolutions/goals, I’ve kept 3×5 index cards on the fridge, I’ve coordinated with a friend to be resolutions buddies, I’ve narrowed it down to one goal–all with varied results. Oddly enough, the years where I’ve made long lists have been about as successful as those where I just picked one thing to focus on.
What did I decide to do this year? A big, fat nothing. I haven’t so much given up on resolutions as I’ve decided that I just don’t want to be “that guy/girl” who sets lofty goals and then fails to succeed in those goals. Does that mean I have no goals for this year? No, but I’m not aiming for anything that could be quantified as a “resolution,” and I kinda started the list long before the new year rolled around. Hell, I started working towards the list before the new year rolled around.
I want my WIP to be published. I want Book 2 to be revised and polished enough for submission to the publisher. I want to learn more embroidery and sewing techniques, both modern and medieval. I want to enter something in an SCA Arts and Sciences competition. I want to advance in rapier training. I want to keep up with the exercise routine I have with my friends. I want to not break my freakin’ foot again.
All perfectly reasonable goals, right? But I’m not going to call them “resolutions.” That sounds cliche and empty. How many people who make new year’s resolutions actually keep them? I don’t have statistics on that (and really am too lazy to Google it), but I’m going to make a blind generalization that the majority of the people who make new year’s resolutions don’t follow through to the end goal. I’m basing this not on science, but on my perception as viewed through social media and friends’ and family members’ experiences. Because third-hand data, especially data that has not actually been documented and studied, is so reliable. Hey, what can I say? Being informed and accurate is not one of my goals. 😉
I’m not saying that new year’s resolutions are doomed to fail. I’ve succeeded in several over the years. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t resolve to resolve just for the sake of resolving. If you want to make it a true “resolution” to change something in your life at the start of a new year, cool beans. If you just want to set goals for yourself at your own time and pace, that’s cool too. You do what you do, I’ll do what I do, and we’ll get there eventually.