Do you make these? I suppose I have from time to time, but this year, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’m wasting my time. After all, does making these impossible aspirations really do any good at all?
I bet you think I’m going to say, “Of course it does!.” But I’m not. Usually always the first to encourage and go all Pollyanna, I haven’t actually decided if I like New Year’s Resolutions or not.
Of course I know the obvious: Aim for the stars and you’ll likely shoot the moon. Aim for a mud puddle and you’ll hit it every time. And resolutions are certainly aiming for the stars. Here are a few (No, they aren’t mine) that I’ve seen recently:
- Read the Bible in a year (not impossible by any means).
- Lose fifty pounds (also not impossible.)
- Try yoga. (Anything with “try” in it is courting disaster.)
- Join a Health Club (Oh that’s an easy one.)
- Persuade *name* to *take an action*. (Oh, yeah, that’s always a good plan.)
- Publish, win, sell, etc. (Sounds really good, but …)
These sound like typical resolutions, right? It’s what, to me, makes New Year’s Resolutions difficult. No, not difficult – DANGEROUS!
Perfect for a good sandwich, but this is a lousy way to attempt to change a habit. Take the first resolution: reading the Bible in a year is certainly possible. I even did it one time. But going from irregular reading, once or twice a week – or less – to a half-hour or more per day is too far to stretch.
Things fail for lack of a plan, and jumping into a diet, quitting smoking, eliminating time-wasters like gaming or TV watching, without having an approach is like going into battle without a gun. The fail is already there. So if you’re reading this on December 31 and you haven’t made a plan of how you’re going to accomplish your goal, I’ve got some ideas for you in tomorrow’s blog – keep reading!
Try, Try, Again
That word try crops up mostly when I have no intention of focusing on something. How often have you said, “I’ll give it a try,” and thought, “when pigs fly.” It’s easier to say than, “Ugh, that sounds awful!” Resolving to try means nothing. A resolutions is taking a stand on something, while trying just means you’ll sample it. A resolution of this type is just a waste of time, though it puts words on your paper.
Do you really need a resolution for that? It takes, what? Ten minutes? Join that puppy on your own time. The resolution is to take part beyond the automatic payment made from your credit card every month. Akin to try, this resolution is just extra words on the page.
And the Rest
The final resolutions have the common denominator of someone else. The final result hoped for relies completely on another person. That word persuade is like saying, “I’m gonna make him do something.” Fat chance of making ANYONE do ANYTHING! And the last one is just as bad. Publishing depends on way too many people to use it as a resolution unless your doing the indie thing. Then it works. But don’t stick sales in the resolution pile, or contests either. Doing your best work, accepting criticism, revising, submitting, marketing – those are all things you can resolve to do. Don’t get them confused with the results you want that depend on others.