New Year’s Resolutions
But this year I can’t seem to muster any excitement for it. I jotted down a list of goals but it looked like just one more “to-do” list in a never-ending succession of to-do lists that I can never quite finish. One more set of standards I would probably never live up to. I have no emotional engagement in these goals. All I could think was, Who cares?
I tore up my list, so now I’m resolution-less. I feel untethered without my annual self-imposed marching orders, yet I’m unwilling to make myself another list.
We’ve been told over and over to make our goals specific and measurable: “I want to run a marathon” instead of “I want to be in shape.” Ironically, I think the push towards the quantifiable result can distance us from our internal motivation for the goal in the first place.
What if we went the opposite direction and stated the underlying emotional reason for the goal? Most people’s resolution to “get in shape” or “lose weight” would translate to “feel good about myself” and “look good to others.” Maybe we’d all learn more about ourselves and be able to keep “resolutions” better if we connected to what’s really driving us.
So I’ve decided to focus on my internal motivations instead of the goals themselves. I’m asking myself: How do I want to feel? What do I want to be? Once I identify those motivations, then I’ll try to make daily choices that steer me towards them, and try to avoid things that lead me away from them. A whole new approach to resolutions. Adjectives, mostly, rather than nouns and verbs.
So here are a few of my words:
Did you make any New Year’s resolutions or goals? If you were to come up with some words that describe how you want to feel or be this year, what would they be?
© 2010 Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent