I don’t have any New Year’s resolutions. Most of the specific things I said I would accomplish during a particular year did not happen. Simple things - like taking care of the mail everyday so that it doesn’t pile up. Difficult things - like finishing a manuscript and getting a literary agent. These are only two examples.
What I “do” hold on to, though, are my plans and dreams. I’m learning how to enjoy the journey of life without putting so much pressure on myself to “be” and to “do.”
A very good friend and I used to dream and plan our lives as future entrepreneurs. We dibbled and dabbled with ideas for seven years. Eventually, we went in different directions. I married and had children; she separated from her husband and began a new career (steady job with benefits) with a state government agency.
Reality struck both of us.
I learned from my relationship with Debbie. She spent so much time and energy chasing illusions. It was like, desperation - stemming from childhood issues, insecurity, and a bad marriage. She’d build herself up so high with an idea and the work she’d put into it, and then deflate like air coming out of a balloon when the idea failed - and then depression would creep in. But I give her credit – she was strong-willed during those wannabe-entrepreneur days. Somehow, she’d bounce back and do it all over again with another idea.
I’m not against New Year’s Day resolutions. I’m sure there are lots of people that find it helpful to make a commitment on January 1, and many are successful by year-end. For you, I sincerely congratulate you on your diligence.
For me, December 31 just flows right into January 1. Nothing changes overnight, but my plans and dreams are still with me, producing delightful little images that motivate me throughout the day when I need to get beyond that feeling of being overwhelmed.
Sometimes those plans and dreams can change before the day is even over, and I can evade the feeling of failure (didn't get that laundry done), and get excited all over again.
So I’m a little fickle.
Think back to five or ten years ago. Are you on the path that you thought you’d be on? Have you succeeded at the plans and resolutions you made in the 1990s or early 2000s?