It's that time again. A new year. Isn't it funny how simply flipping the calendar from one month to another--one day to another--we somehow feel that with the turning of that page, anything is possible. I always feel that way at this time. The beginning of a new year is an invitation to introspection, an opportunity for evaluation and a catalyst for change. At the beginning of a new year we all look back and see things we'd like to change, things we'd like to improve on, things we'd like to have accomplished--and didn't--or things we just plain want to forget. It's a time of soul-searching, examining our strengths and weaknesses, and reexamining our choices both good and bad and then moving on.
Most people make resolutions. I generally don't. Why? Well, for starters just consider the word 'resolution'. From the word 'resolve' which comes with such stellar synonyms as: firm, unyielding, definite, unwavering, steadfast and persevering, it doesn't seem to me a resolution comes with much wiggle room. For me, it's pretty much set in stone. You know: 'I HEREBY RESOLVE'. I think of a resolution as a promise--a promise to myself and others--and because I do I'm hesitant to make any unless I'm pretty darned sure I can keep 'em.
And let's face it. How often do people actually keep their resolutions? Oh, most of us can last a month or even two or three, but most of us backslide at some point and by the time year's end rolls around, that same resolution is back on the table.
We all know the most popular resolutions. Number one is always to lose weight. Ten pounds, twenty, thirty, forty--one hundred. Don't get me wrong--I've battled weight issues. As a matter of fact, I tipped the scale at over 200 pounds before my triplets were born. I remember it well. It was one of the the last times I stepped on a scale outside of a physician's office. But once I lost the 'baby fat', I stayed at the same weight for the next eighteen years. I figured that was proof positive I'd found my ideal weight. As long as I can get into my jeans without damaging my diaphragm, I'm good to go.
Another popular resolution deals with nutrition and getting in shape. Admittedly, I could use some improvement in these areas. Still, I'm more apt to address this area by means of smaller, incremental steps. Back in August I gave up Coca Cola. People who know me, know how much I love Coke. It was my grandma's favorite and became mine, as well. But last summer when I was tackling a tight deadline and other life issues, I realized just how much I was drinking while I was writing, so in August I went cold turkey. And I haven't had a sip of 'pop' as we call it in the heartland, since then. It was doable. And it was time. Next up? I'm decaffeinating my coffee. Slowly. Over time. I'm down to one cup of the 'hard stuff' each morning. Baby steps.
Don't misunderstand. I do set goals and have for many years. The difference between goals and resolutions is that with goals you can craft them in such a way that, even if you don't achieve your ultimate long-term goals, you've probably achieved a number of short-term ones on your way to the biggies you can pat your back over. In writing goal-setting is extremely important. While your ultimate long-term goal may be to write within a new genre and sell that book to a second publishing house, the only thing you really have control over is the writing. How you write. When you write. How well you write. How much you write. Whether you sell it or not--well, that's always the million dollar question, isn't it?
Last year I decided that going back to school was something I wanted to do. Now I'm in school--and loving it. Well, most of the time.
So, this year the only resolution I'm planning to make is to resolve to work hard at whatever task is placed before me, to do my very best with what I've been given, and to treat each day as the gift it truly is.
Hoping 2008 finds you all reaching for the stars!
~Bullet Hole Bacus~