|not this one (source)|
From the little I've seen so far, there does seem to be a general consensus that the word "resolution" is totally taboo. Sylvan's calling them "Sacred Intentions," which the witchy part of me adores (she's got a whole series going on about hers, if you fancy a good read) and Holly's got a list of "Things I Will Do In 2011," after having a lot of success with her "*ditto* In 2010" list last year. Al just doesn't like them at all. Seems like over the many years during which the New Year's Resolution List has emerged as a tradition, the Mid-February Screw The Resolution List celebratory drink/burger/rest-day-that-turned-into-a-week/what-have-you has become an inextricable part of the ritual, giving all kinds of nasty, failure-is-inevitable connotations to the poor word, which should mean "things about which one is resolute, or standing firm and determined."
I'm still pretty torn on the issue. On the one hand, I'm in complete accord with Al in his vilifying of the "normal" resolutions people make:
"...they’re either overly vague (I’m going to get fit in 2011!) or unrealistically rigid (I’m cutting out all grains and simple sugars for 2011!). These types of resolutions are problematic because they don’t hold you accountable and/or they set you up to fail."On the other hand, I love a good benchmark. I am the queen of "to-do" lists (even if they rarely actually get done). And Sylvan speaking about how she's going to do things really resonates with me:
"...I'm taking a different approach; instead of resolutions, I’ve developed five overall intentions for the year, and each will require a series of smaller goals or ideas to complete them. Some aren’t even fully formulated yet, but the to-do list will change as the year progresses. Some are not difficult, but some will require a lot of me. There won’t be a definite pass/fail, as the goal itself is not the prize; the prize will be what I learn and what I change in my life and in my heart as I work through them."
But then again, I really, really suck at deadlines. Just ask T - I promised to make him felted slippers for Christmas...2008. Yeah...still kind of need to cast on for those. So I'm really liking Al's words on time-frames:
"[T]he calendar is just something WE MADE UP. We made it up so we can know to meet at a certain time on a certain day and keep track of history to the best of our abilities (and it’s very helpful for those things) but it’s not real. Days and months and years are based on the actual cycle of the planets and stars, yes, but we made up the details.But I can't deny that feeling Holly talks about in her original Will-Dos of 2010 post:
Every day is just a day, but it’s also a new opportunity, regardless of whether it’s January 1st or December 27th.... Focus on the process and take it step by step instead of looking ahead an entire year."
"Isn’t it funny how the a new year really makes you feel like so much is possible? It is also my goal to try to hold onto that feeling all year long and remember that EVERYDAY is a chance to do whatever the hell I want."Yes, the action of literally turning over a new leaf (on the calendar, that is) absolutely makes me more motivated. And there are definitely both things that I want to do (brush up my French, learn decent Spanish, finish the garden, deadlift 200lbs) and that I need to do (start an IRA, get my own health insurance, finish my degree, get a place of my own), regardless of how long it takes me but preferably soon, which is where the deadline thing comes in.
So I think there's going to be some variety of a list of goals/wishes/intentions for the new year (and beyond) coming soon. I'm still toying with format, though (fairly-well-defined, check-'em-off-the-list-and-keep-going will-dos, like Holly? big, sweeping, detailed intentions, like Sylvan? 101 in 1,001? or something completely different?). But I think I need to proclaim some kind of goal list, regardless of how. As much fun as enjoying the journey of life one day at a time is, it wouldn't be a journey if there weren't some kind of a destination in mind.
Lurkers: what's worked for you,