Resolutions. Just the word can make many of us cringe. And, for others, there is plenty of eye-rolling and even disgust. Not exactly sure why the idea of “making resolutions” evokes such emotion but, according to my highly technical and scientifically accurate research (of asking random friends and family), many of us have super strong opinions about resolutions. One internet definition described resolutions as “firm determination or a firm decision.” Maybe it is the firmness – shall we say the rigidness – that a resolution implies. If we make a decision or even set a goal, and then call it a resolution, there seems to be no margin for error, no flexibility and certainly no measure of grace. Sounds better to just skip it altogether….
But I disagree. It is true that not every resolution is kept – nor every goal achieved – and it cannot sometimes feel as if we are having to “start over” every January; however, I think an intentional review of the past year as well as setting measurable goals for the new year ahead is a very valuable exercise. The idea of setting goals. Having aspirations, hopes (dreams!) and plans for the weeks that lie ahead.
They may be personal plans. Career goals. They might involve our families, our hobbies, our home, and the list goes on. Thinking about – even dreaming about (think big!) – and then setting goals is inspiring. The goals not only give us direction but can instill hope, give us a sense of purpose, or simply help us sort through our hearts.
I read this quote recently (the author is unknown): Anytime life gets too comfortable you need to set new goals and mix it up. By the end of the year, life has usually become quite comfortable. Often routine. I look forward to “mixing it up” a bit in the days and weeks ahead. This has become especially true since my husband and I became empty-nesters. Routines can be great. Not only comfortable but often comforting. But they can also become ruts. Some new plans. A few new ideas or challenges. And/or other ways to stir up our daily agendas can be exciting. And energizing.
I also read this quote (also unknown…hmm): Life without goals is like flying a plane not knowing where you want to land. Not incredibly deep but you get the idea. Goals give us direction and purpose – something else I have found needful and helpful in this stage of life. Once the kids are grown and careers have come to an end, it can be challenging to know and appreciate our purpose. Sorting through the past year and making concrete plans for the future helps us identify, visualize and anticipate more of our purpose right now.
So, what about you? What is your opinion of resolutions? Maybe you prefer to call them goals. I hope this post has encouraged you to set a few. Write them down on paper. Make them measurable. And manageable. Consider your first steps toward those goals. And then go for it! Take the opportunity to pause, consider – and then reset. Not only can we learn, and benefit, from the past twelve months but we can commit to a new, purpose-filled 2022!