Re•solve: transitive verb; 1) to reach a firm decision about , e.g. resolve to get more sleep; 2) to deal with successfully;
res•o•lu•tion: noun; something that is resolved, e.g. made a resolution to mend my ways;
The making of new year’s resolutions goes back to 153 B.C. when the Romans placed the mythical king Janus at the top of the calendar and created the month of January. Janus, with a face on the front and back of his head, could look back on the old year and forward to the new. Early Christians believed the first day of the new year should be spent reflecting on past mistakes and resolving to improve oneself in the new year. Over the years, it transitioned out of religion into a wide-spread tradition.
Just about everyone makes some sort of resolution or resolution list, even if mentally. C’mon, admit it:
We’re gonna lose weight, make more money, smile more, make better pictures, clean out the garage once and for all, finish the to-do list of house projects, travel more, donate more, get more organized, more efficient, read more, blog more, excercise more…whew, it’s tiring just thinking of all these things! And then there’s the other items on our list. The ones that are more personal, about becoming a better listener, a doer, a giver; or maybe becoming a better artist, photographer, mother, father, lover, friend.
These are all good ideas, every one of them, and no doubt some of them found their way on your list too, even if mentally. It’s that time of year when we feel we should resolve to do something, to change, and that puts stress on us to commit. (Who started this idea of annual resolutions, anyway?) But our list becomes too overwhelming if we don’t limit the number of resolutions. Aaagh…
So my resolution for this year is to SIMPLIFY!!! I’ll try not to make resolution lists that are so dang long I’m overwhelmed just reading them. In fact, maybe I’ll try to work without a list – yikes, can’t do that one – OK, so I’ll make a short list of things that I know I can commit to, both personal and work-related. I’ll try to keep the resolutions and the goals separate – after all resolutions are about change. Goals are about achievements. Not that they don’t relate in some ways; if I resolve to get my fine art portfolios finally together and on-line, that’s a resolution to share my work more, and a goal to create more business. Oh, this is so confusing.
Maybe those resolutions will be pointers to other lists – you know, like “create a fine art portfolio online” – which entails a rather longish list of other goals/to-dos under it. Would that be cheating on my ‘short list’? Maybe I should make a list and then prioritize them, and select only the top 5 or 10 that I know I can resolve to do. Or maybe, just maybe, I should just sum it up with one meaningful resolution, to be the best I can be at anything I do in the moment – and to let go of the need to structure my life so much with all those gall-darned lists!
Hey, did I wish you Happy New Year yet? Have a great one! I’m having a happy one with Mocha, the dog, and Jed; starting with perhaps a bike ride, or a hike on a beach, then a warm fire, good music and a movie – and maybe some full moon photography if it ever clears up here!