Saturday, 5 January 2013

Resolutions, or not?....

We are in a New Year, and 2013 stretches before me, with anticipation and desire for all things good and new.  There is so much potential in the concept of a new year.  Leaving behind the year that is past.  Learning from all that has gone on in the days that have flown into eternity, and stretching out your arms, in expectation of what lies ahead.

Then comes the big question.

Do I make New Year's Resolutions, or don't I?

What is a resolution, anyway?

The online dictionary says...

"A firm decision to do or not to do something."

So, what's so special and significant about the concept of a New Year's resolution.  Why all the pressure and guilt when they don't work out?  I have to say, in the past, when I have decided to do something (New Year, or not...) I have a tendency to feel quite down if I don't complete what I started, or didn't do it as well as I had hoped.

When you get down to the nitty gritty of it, a resolution is a good thing.  Really, we should make resolutions every day!  If it's a firm decision to do something, then I make resolutions to make dinner every most days.  I make resolutions to get dressed in the morning.  To go to Church every Lord's day.  To love my family.

Why, then, do many seem averse to "making" New Year's resolutions?  Is it because they think they will only do it for a week?  Perhaps, because they think they won't do it very well?  Or, because they think that others will mock them for trying?  Or, be criticised for not doing as good a job as they planned to?

But, in my opinion, none of those matter.  If something is important enough for you to make a firm decision to do, then you should at least TRY to do it.  To not even attempt it, because you think you may fail, is rather defeatist!

So, in order to wisely make any resolution, no matter when you start, I think several things need to be borne in mind.

Firstly, is it worth attempting at all? - If something is worth trying, then you should.  Is it worth TRYING to learn to bake?  If you think it is, then, resolve to do it.

Secondly, is it worth starting, even if you don't finish it when you hoped to? - So, if you want to make a resolution to decorate your entire house in 6 months, and you think it's achievable, then give it a whirl.

Thirdly, is it worth starting, even if it is NEVER going to get finished?  You decided to start a new curriculum, but it turns out not to suit you half way through the year.  It was at least worth attempting, even if you decide it's not for you.

I think, also, you have to have decided beforehand that it's achievable, in at least some measure.  If it's completely beyond your capabilities and resources, you may be setting yourself up for failure, and that would make you feel worse!

Maybe another issue is the title you give your resolution.  For some reason, if you say you have made goals or plans, then it sounds more acceptable!

"I have a goal to lose some weight"

"I am planning to do more gardening"

"I plan not to sleep in past 8am" (chance would be a fine thing.....)

Tagging on that it is a "New Year's" resolution, adds some kind of ticking time bomb, of pressure and success.

Doubtless, New Year seems to be a natural time to think about doing something new.  Yes, it's just "another day", on the grand scheme of life, but I am all for using a good excuse to get something done!  So, if beginning a new year means you think about projects you need to start, great!

So, am I making any resolutions?

Erm, I'm going to try....

I want to get back into my routine of rising earlier.  It is such a blessing to get my day started well, and it's worth getting back to doing it. Am I flexible enough to acknowledge it may not always work? Yup.

I want to spend more one-to-one time with my oldest 2.  Will I do it every week?  Probably not.  But, to at least try to have a short time alone with them on the odd evening is achievable.

I want to work on some projects with Robert.  What are they? Time will tell.... But, I plan to set aside specific time every week to work on it.

I want to do more sewing.  THAT is totally dependant on getting one or other of my 2 machines into working order.  I have to decide where to put my money into that goal, and then it may be workable.

I want to work more on character training with my children.  I have some books that I want to work through, and THAT one being accomplished is dependant upon me doing some major planning and implementation.  That's the shaky one.  But, I AM going to try.

Maybe, then, I need to plan on doing more planning?!?


Plus, I want to write more notes and letters to people.  That one also requires more planning from me, and being more disciplined with my time.

So, there we have it.  My thoughts on New Year's resolutions.

How about you?  Have you got any goals or aspirations for this year? We would love to hear about them, so don't be afraid to share your pearls of wisdom in the comments below, or post a link to your own blog post!

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