There are certain times of the year when the whole blogsophere latches on to the same subject. Every September there’s a rash of sentiment about kids growing up and the back-to-school transition. Every November 1st, we’re treated to photos of Halloween costumes. And for a week in January, the topic is New Year’s resolutions.
New Year’s resolutions get a really bad rap sometimes. A surprising number of bloggers this year are talking about how bad they are. Some refuse to set goals because they’re going fail, and they think it’s pointless. One person even suggested that resolutions are a bad idea because they place our focus on our weaknesses instead of our strengths.
But I think we as a culture look at a new year’s resolution in the wrong way. Sometimes they’re not made to be fulfilled. Some goals will never, ever be fully attained…but if you refuse to aspire, you’ll stagnate instead.
I’ve made resolutions for a couple of decades, and generally I’ve kept them…but not always. Sometimes I go into it knowing I won’t live up to them.
The first goal I set, knowing it was unreachable, was this: If I’m going to bother getting my flute out of the case on any given day, I’m going to practice a full four hours. “That one’s made to be broken,” I wrote, “but the pursuit of it will make me a better musician.”
Actually, I didn’t do half bad on that goal–I hit 4 hours of practicing 80-85% of the time that year. (Before you get stuck on that number, bear in mind I was a flute performance major preparing for grad school auditions. For a music major, practice = study.)
The thing is, self-improvement is a process, not an end point. You can lose the weight, after all, but you still have to maintain it. It’s not like you can check it off the list and go back to the way you did things before.
And that’s also why I disagree with the blogger who thinks we shouldn’t focus on or weaknesses. It’s a laudable thing to try to make oneself a better person, even if we stumble and fall along the way. Something resolved left unresolved, after all, still makes me a better person.
I need to apologize to the Write On Edge people…when I set out to write the prompt today, it went a different direction than the prompt was meant to…I debated whether I had any business linking up at all. Hope you’ll excuse me. Usually I try to be very careful to follow exactly. 🙂