The dictionary on my computer defines resolute as “admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering.” Intellectually, I know the word “resolution,” as in New Year’s Resolutions, is derived from resolute, but, in practice, the two words seem to have quite different meanings. New Year’s Resolutions have become something to joke and laugh about it seems. In the next breath after the resolution is stated, we joke about how many months, weeks, or days it will take for us to drop the ball.
I am one of those people with an overactive conscience. I also drop the ball on my New Year’s resolutions, but I feel really, really bad about it! As a result, I have made two changes to my technique of declaring resolutions.
First, I do a mental and emotional feasibility study of each possible resolution. For example, it does me no good to commit to do anything every single day of the coming year. More than fifty years of living has demonstrated that all sorts of crazy things can happen in the course of a year and make it very difficult to stick to an “every day” sort of resolution. I have discovered that I do best with a five-day-out-of-seven plan with a built-in plan for make-up days. Last January, I resolved to read the entire Bible in one year and found a schedule for doing just that. Things went very well for about a month, then I started to get a bit behind, and then I realized that each day’s assignment was lengthy enough to make it too daunting to try to play the double-up make-up game. So this year I will resolve anew, but I think it will be a read-the-Bible-in-two-years plan or maybe just a read-the-New-Testament-in-a-year.
Second, I tend to be more resolute when I get a running start on New Year’s resolutions—meaning that I like to start them BEFORE January 1. I lost a significant amount of weight last year, mostly in the second half of the year. Thankfully, I have managed to keep a stable weight through the holiday season. So you could say I have been jogging in place during the holidays, which makes it much easier to blast off again on January 1 rather than starting from couch potato mode. I am also getting a running start on the clean-and-organized-home resolution having already deep-cleaned about half of my house. Now if I could convince my other human and animal family-members to get on board with that resolution…
I actually have a third way of keeping the resolute in resolution—I make fewer resolutions. I am sure I could fill a notebook with things I need to change in myself and my life, but I am pragmatic enough to know that I cannot do everything at once. I try to choose the things that will make the greatest positive difference. I also try to choose the things that are truly do-able in a year’s time.
Finally, I need lots of reminders—So I think I will print out that definition of “resolute” in a huge font and post it on my wall. My number one resolution for 2013 is to be admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering. I will let you know how it goes. SpringCreekArtsGuild@gmail.com