Last year I wrote about resolutions and some things I’ve found helpful in making resolutions work for me. These ideas are not unique to me, so I don’t claim them as some grand personal insight. Quite simply, they work and I recommend them.
One of the resolutions I made was to strive to make an average of one post per week on my blogs.
On Mental Scrapbook, my photoblog, I exceeded the goal and managed 56 posts for the year.
On The Shepherdess Writes, the blog I write for my professional life as a pastor, I ended up with 38 posts for the year. Falling a bit short! However, that’s actually pretty close because it’s an average of just over 3 posts per month.
And last but not least, I managed to make 38 posts for this blog. Also an average of just over 3 per month. Didn’t make the goal, however I do feel in placing an emphasis on this blog, I have been better able to focus what I want to write about and eliminate posting about what I’m less interested in.
I managed to accomplish the other resolutions I set for myself, including submitting at least three pieces of writing for publication (all of which were rejected but hey, ONLY WRITERS get rejection letters!), learn to make chainmail, and read at least 50 books (I made it to 62!)
At first when I received my end-of-year stats from WordPress, I was kinda disappointed in myself for not making the posting goal. It was a good goal! An attainable goal! A measurable goal! And I failed.
But then a really good friend of mine who also makes significant resolutions each year failed, too. Really failed! And I felt better–not because I wasn’t alone in this failing thing but because of what he said about it.
I have known Jere for many years and he is one of those people who, if he set his mind to it, actually could eat JUST ONE POTATO CHIP. Yes, he is one of those people. His list of resolutions for 2012 included several measurable, attainable and worth while goals (reading a certain amount, seeing a number of movies and accomplishing a work goal) and he missed them all, some of them just by a hair and some by a mile. Yet, he called it “A Beautiful Failure.” Why?
Believe me when I tell you, he is not the sort of person who likes to lose at anything and it isn’t because by the end of the year he just didn’t care. He always cares. It always matters.
And that’s it. It always matters. Most of all, it matters what the ‘It’ is. You see, the overall goal for his year was to make it a year of saying “yes”; saying yes to things and people and activities and new ways of doing what he loves to do. The specific things on his measurable list of goals might have gotten him there and, then again, they might not have. The point was to make it a Year of Yes and he did just that. He said ‘yes’ to people and friends and opportunities that might NOT have gotten him further along on the list of his 2012 goals, (or perhaps further along on the goals that we all typically associate with being ‘successful’ in the world) but they certainly did get him to the life that really matters most of all.
In the end, isn’t that what motivates us to make resolutions and goals for ourselves in the first place? We want to have a life with meaning and purpose. They are merely a means to that end. The truth is, I love the life I have more than I ever have. Parts of it are hard and hurt like hell and I miss my mother every single day. Parts of it are amazing and beautiful. Parts of it are ordinary and transcendent. My life holds people I love and who love me, people who challenge me to be more and who extend me grace when I crash and burn. I have a job I love every single solitary day. From the best moments to the worst, I love it with all of my heart. And I call this life of mine beautiful.
So, do I have resolutions for 2013? Well, of course I do! And you can bet they are measurable, attainable and specific and that I’ve followed all my little rules about setting goals, too. However, I have been reminded of the real reason for them in the first place: to better enjoy this beautiful life.
One last thing……..
See the guy on the left? The one with his back to the camera? That’s my friend and he’s interviewing Stan Lee for his documentary film on the Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find Convention. And I’ll bet there is a big ear to ear grin on his face, too.
“I kept falling over, kept looking backward, I went broke believing that the simple should be hard. But all we are, we are… and every day is the start of something beautiful”