Tuesday, December 28, 2010

35640 x 8000! No, wait...

...that would be the display resolution of the HIPerSpace.  We're talking a different kind of resolution here.
not this one (source)
 Even though we've not quite reached the new year yet, Blogland is already starting to be all atwitter on the topic of New Year's Resolutions.  Off the top of my head, Dianne Sylvan, Holly the Everythingtarian and Al Kavadlo have all weighed in recently, and I'm sure there are some others I've missed, as well as plenty more in the coming couple of weeks.  Everyone's got something to say about this one.

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.
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."
 But I can't deny that feeling Holly talks about in her original Will-Dos of 2010 post:
"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, resolution goal-wise?  What hasn't?



  1. Last year my resolution was to give up buying storebought bread and to only eat bread that I baked myself. Which I actually followed through with. However, it was a very specific resolution and not too restrictive, plus I love bread, so it worked.

    I am very torn about life-changing resolutions like "I will get fit" because what that means or entails is very vague. I also don't really get this January 1st thing. Why not today? Which is why I AM starting today (actually, the day after Christmas) in my resolution to lose all the weight I gained in 2010. I want to happy with the way I look and right now, I'm just not. Do I really know how I'm going to do that? Not exactly. So we'll see what happens...

  2. Joanne, that seems like an example of a really good resolution - it's not too stringent, very specific and has two separate ideas (get healthier and learn something, in this case how to make awesome bread) within it.

    I think the hardest thing for most people to work into their goals is realism. Too far towards the vague or the over-intense makes it impossible right off the bat. Keep us updated on your own progress - I know you can get there!