The Beginning of the End

I don’t usually make resolutions. They look good on paper, but in all honestly unless you make that mental connection to just do it, then the words don’t really mean anything. Jeffe’s post on sea change had me thinking on that a bit today. The vagueness of so many goals out there just lends itself to failure. (i.e. I resolve to lose weight doesn’t mean anything. Is that a pound? or 50 pounds? Better to have a tangible goal, I think, than just a general one.)

Same with writing. I see a lot of that this time of year. I resolve to write a book. Finish a book. Edit three books. Etc. Those are still too vague and too easy to let slip away under the enormity of it all. A better resolution might be to say, “I’m going to write 1000 words a day.” or “Twenty pages a week.” or whatever amount you think you can reasonably handle. And even then, don’t set the bar too high off the bat. Too often, we set our sights so high in the clouds that we lose our way up the mountain. At which point we freeze to death, because we don’t take the care that’s needed to ensure these resolutions have time to take root and become part of our daily lives.

People are resistant to change. We’re creatures of habit and many of us tend to fall into the ruts that allow us to slip by with the least amount effort. And then we get it in our heads that TODAY is different. We promise ourselves that this is our year. We’ll undergo the “transformation” into a new us. A better us. A prettier, more fit, more perfect US.

And there’s really no such thing.

We can make improvements in our lives, for sure, but there are certain facts that are impossibilities. Even if I dropped 25 pounds tomorrow, guess what? I’m never going to be a teen model. (at least not without the help of photoshop). If I went back to playing piano and practiced my ass off, I’d certainly get better…but I’m never going to be a virtuoso.

So much of change is really dependent upon perception…but it’s also about realistic goals. I may not be able to make myself a happy, perky person overnight…but I can certainly attempt to find six good things to be happy about every day. Maybe over time, my daily outlook will change. Or it might not. It won’t hurt to find out though, either way.

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