Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Resolving means Doing

I have never found the tradition of New Year’s resolutions to be helpful for me. Somehow, “resolving” to do something never equates to actually doing it. However, I have experienced great success in using that time to plan ahead for things I actually will accomplish. The idea is to set a goal—something I feel I can achieve (even if it means challenging myself), then figure out what I need to do to make it happen. Afterward, I sit down every month or so and pull the plan out, reminding myself of what I wanted to achieve and why, and reviewing things to make sure I’m doing what I need to get there. Sometimes, the goals get met; sometimes, they don’t. When they don’t, I try to document why they didn’t, so I can revise the plan.

Over the last couple of years, I have not been as religious with this routine as I would like and it has left me feeling a little disoriented. I miss not having a set of things to work toward. So much of my mind, body and spirit has been focused on graduate school that I have forgotten to do a lot of things for myself, and reflecting in this way is one of the bigger ones. I am nearly done with graduate school now, and I’ve been reminded that it was a good thing to have these goals in place, and so I am re-establishing the ritual. Over the course of the year, I want to use this space to monitor my progress toward the goals I have set. Having an audience (however small and distant it may be), will help keep my mind on these goals, and actually documenting my progress will do a great job of motivating me to stay on top of the process. I’ll even have something tangible to remind me of what it feels like to achieve something! Who knows? Maybe someone else will find it valuable, too.

The list that follows does not include the minor details, and it is not designed to be complete. I mean, why should it be that I only think about setting goals once a year? I used to make a point of considering additions to the list three times a year: May Day, Labor Day and New Year’s Day. I think I’ll hold to that again. Anyway, here’s what I’d like to achieve at this point, in no particular order.

1. Earn my M.Ed. (I’ve completed all my coursework. I have only a thesis to complete and a portfolio to compile, then it is in the hands of the University)

2. Read three of the books in my library that relate to the Landmark Community School project, so I can…

3. Write out a plan to bring the Landmark Community School to life.

4. Rebuild two habits of a healthy lifestyle that I have neglected for the last several years:
—Making time to be active every day--even if only a 30 minute walk is possible.
—Eating good and healthy food in the right amounts.

5. Reestablish “teapot time” and other rituals of bonding and intimacy with my wife. (more on that in another post)

6. Compete in the Greenfield Triathalon.

7. Explore 6 new places to kayak or canoe.

8. Reconnect with my religious practice by taking time to study, meditate and practice mindful living every day.

9. Write for pleasure regularly during the week (including blogging, letters and fiction)

10. Take SiSi camping overnight, if she’s ready.

11. Make a list of home improvement projects around Wayfarer House that can be done over the summer.

12. Complete to high quality one woodworking project.

13. Take a camera out of its bag twice for fun.

This is a good list for me. I’m going to enjoy seeing each of these accomplished and I happily accept the challenges they present. I’ll keep you posted on how things go.

1 comment:

mrschili said...

All good things. Let me know how I can support your finding your way to them...