Make Goals, Not Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions kind of suck, and I think we all know that. Probably most of us have the experience of making a resolution to “lose weight” or “eat healthier” or “exercise more” or “read more” or “watch less TV” or… (the list could quite literally be infinite). The implication of this repetition every year, however, implies that we find some inherent goodness in the notion of resolving to be better. I find myself around every new year in a pensive mood, dreaming of the person I’d like to be, the things I’d like to do. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I think it can be meaningful for us to decide there is something we’d like to accomplish within a given amount of time.

All of that said, this year, I decided to make some goals for myself for the year 2018 (not resolutions!). These were tangible things that I wanted to be able to look back on in December of this year and say “that’s something that I did.” Resolutions are typically vague or ambiguous, which makes them either difficult to recount or difficult to stick with. My goals for this year are as follows:

  1. Finish my M.A. and ace my thesis (I’ll admit – the finishing the degree is a bit of a “gimme,” but it’ll still be quite the accomplishment).
  2. Complete a 365-picture per day project with Elaine (blog/Instagram and details to follow shortly!).
  3. Keep a daily log.
  4. Build a backyard fence and do a landscaping renovation for the backyard (and the front yard if time/money allow).
  5. Eventually work up by the end of the year to the following weekly exercise routine (with exceptions on tough weeks):
    • Run four times per week
    • Yoga twice per week
    • Bodyweight fitness routine twice per week

While these are all things to “do,” my hope is that each of the goals reflects an aspect of my personhood that I want to either change or grow. I want to do better at remembering, I want to do deep research in topics that interest me, I want to be the kind of person that cares about the things given to me, including my home and my body.

Let’s go, 2018.

 

The Act of Remembering

I wonder if the act of remembering, or attempting to remember, one’s life — actively — is a form of meditation. It seems to me that remembrance is a way to slow down, think on the wonder of life and the gift that it is to exist.

One of the things I have learned about prayer over the last year or so is that prayer is (to be cliché) more about myself — changing my internal reality — than it is about asking God to do things for me. The words that I use now are centered around gratefulness, repentance, and intentional reflection on my perception of reality.

In order to continue to practice this act of changing my internal reality (or at least being intentional about reflecting upon the way I perceive it), one of my goals for 2018 is to keep a daily log. Nothing intense, nothing majorly time-consuming. Just a quick look back upon my day, what I did, what I felt. I’m hoping to record something every single day, and be able to look back at a year’s worth of days. And my hope is also that, in remembrance of my days, I am able to grow in gratefulness, graciousness, and slow living.