Friday, January 2, 2009

To resolve or not?

Happy New Year!


Yesterday, I had a discussion about whether or not to make New Year's Resolutions. In recent years, I've tried to make at least one resolution each year, more along the lines of "things I want to accomplish this year." For me, to say them out loud, or in this case blog them, gives me a self-imposed accountability. I don't ask anyone to hold me accountable, but I feel compelled to live up to my own expectations because I don't like to say I've failed. I also know that if I keep my goals to myself I'm really, really not very good at actually reaching them.

At the same time, I allow myself the grace to adapt expectations to accommodate real changes in my life that make adaptation necessary. Or sometimes, reconsidering a goal is prompted by a new discovery about myself, my motivations for the goal, or the effects of the process to achieve a goal.

For example, I attempted last year to read the entire Bible in chronological order. I tried to do it in 100 days, and I didn't make it. I got almost one-third of the way through the readings when I realized it had become a chore, a mere item to check off my list, and it was no longer meaningful. I decided to take a short break to regain perspective. And... I forgot to go back. I think my motivation for the break was good, and what I should have done was resume my readings at a slower pace so I didn't get burned out again. Lesson learned.

So this year... that's on my list again, but the 365-day version of the reading plan. It will be no less daily, but hopefully not so demanding. That said, I think it will be the hardest to complete... mostly because it will be the easiest to let slide.

So here's the list for 2009:
1. Read through the Bible chronologically.
2. Finish grad school.
3. Lose 30 (+/-) pounds.

This last item is the final stretch of a goal I started in in September of 2007. This one I've been semi-public about, keeping a ticker at the bottom of my blog page. The ticker currently says I need to lose 26.8 pounds, but, well, there were Christmas cookies, and pies, and cakes and so on. Now it's back to regular trips to the gym for me to burn off all those goodies and a few more.

So, are you making resolutions? Do you usually? Never? Just curious to know, not so much what your resolutions are, but if you bother making them at all. Regardless of what you resolve to do... or not to do... I wish you a wonderful 2009!
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