It took the wind out of my sails the year that I enthusiastically wrote a blog post about my brilliant resolutions, only to realize that it was almost identical to the first post I’d composed for the past three Januarys.
But this year is different! I’ve finally changed my New Year’s thinking to correspond, I think, a little closer to reality. It doesn’t take deep reflection to know I should do better at keeping a budget, planning and cooking meals, running my household, parenting, homeschooling, and bettering myself through reading and spiritual disciplines.
Now, I do hope to improve in all of these areas. But it’s been helpful for me, this year, to remove the expectation that this will be the year that I master any of those areas once and for all, thanks to some well-made plan that I drew up in January. My new goal: To make forward progress in all or most of these areas over the course of the next twelve months.
That’s not to say I’m done with well-made plans. (I couldn’t quit them if I wanted to!) But January 1 becomes one of several checkpoints, an opportunity to make some goals and strategies for the present about the issues that need the most attention. I get a similar burst of energy at the start of the summer and again when a new school year begins. It’s like what I imagine happens at a pit stop in a race– get out of the car, tighten up anything that’s come loose, fill up the tank, etc. And then you keep on zooming, and if you are very lucky you can win a Dinoco sponsorship.
It’s nice not to feel like I need to come up with solutions for every problematic area of my life all at once. I can tackle a few things at a time, experimenting until I find some habits that will stick with me long-term. At the end of the year, I hope I can look back and see that I’m inching along in the right direction.