If someone said to you that if you failed to accomplish (or at least be well on your way to accomplishing) a New Year’s Resolution by the end of the year, you would be prohibited from ever resolving to do it again, what would you resolve? Now, consider another stipulation – you must resolve something.
Would this be an incentive or detriment to achieving your goals and going after them or would this paralyze you in the fear that if I don’t do it now I can never be healthier, never have a better job, never be better educated, never be a better friend and lover? Would your goals be more timid or bold?
Goals or resolutions once put into writing or words take on a life of their own and move toward actualization. Several years ago, I created an informal club that I (inspiringly) called the Goal Club. And we’d meet a couple times a year for dinner and to address our goals. The stipulation was that the goal had to be achievable by the person making the goal, so, for example, I said I wanted to audition for a play (the goal could not be written that I wanted to be in a play, because that was beyond my realm of control, all I could do was audition). And within months I ran into an old friend with whom I’d done community theater a decade before who told me about a play. I auditioned and was cast (which in my heart was the goal, but based on the rules I couldn’t write it as such.) I guess it was less of a goal club and more of a “get up off your butt and do it” club.
Emboldened by that success I tried another. I was a woman of a certain age without a spouse that cerebrally I believed I wanted, but wasn’t sure how that whole commitment thing would work for me. But I gave it a shot. I wrote down that I wanted to share my life with a guy. And voila, I found an abandoned guinea pig in the woods that someone had tried to kill. And the lesson here… be careful how you articulate your goal. Be specific. If you resolve to travel more, you can start to rationalize that you achieved your goal in finding a new street in town. If you say go the the Wall of China, you are very sure when you get there. Back to the guinea pig – I am by far better for having had “Hope”, my first guinea pig, because he taught me that commitment to a creature, even a male creature was not so bad and that was a baby step toward opening myself up to the prospect of sharing my life with a human. And to this day I tell my husband that the reason he and I married is because of Hope.
We stopped our goal club, ironically, not long after I got married, and when it got complicated…we started giving each other goals, and had a list of categories: Long term, Short term, Just for Fun. It started to be a chore to keep track of them. I’d like to revisit the list and see what I missed. I remember one thing that hasn’t happened yet– I haven’t made it to Portugal. So according to the rules above, I would never get to set Portugal as a goal, again. So would I have prioritized differently to achieve it?
My friend, client, and teacher (and regular guest of Marlo Thomas on Huffington Post) Rosie Battista brought me in as a writing consultant on her book Sleeping Naked After 40 http://sleepingnakedafter40.com/. She laid out her book in 12 chapters so followers could map out their year in good naked eating and living measures that easily aligned with the months in the year or one chapter a week for three months for the over achievers. That seemed pretty smart to me and in the process of working on her book, I lost a decent amount of weight. So now I want to create that same success for the rest of my life in 2013.
I’m not one to rush into things, so here on January 3, 2012 I hatched Alison’s List of MORE for 2013.
- More Reading, Less Viewing
- More Thankful, Less Oblivious to Obvious Blessings Big & Small.
- More Naked Living (Ladies, check out Rosie’s book, it’s even sexier than it sounds)
- More Outdoors
- More Commitment to Community and/or Charity
- More Progress in Bonding my Bunnies (you cannot believe what a challenge this is)
- More Random Acts of Kindness (I’ve got to start scheduling this, maybe one per month on a Tuesday)
- More Action and Less Over Thinking ( I don’t want to be terrorized by my “To Do” list anymore)
- More Cultural Activities
- More Sleep (even Arianna Huffington told me I needed more, see my blog post http://wp.me/p13Md6-EB )
- More Willing to Give Away Stuff and Live with Less
- More Time with People I Love
And a bonus baker’s dozen….
13. More effort to resurrect the Goal Club, because, gee, those were some awesome dinners, friends and conversations.
We will revisit this on the flip side of the year…Write down your goals, and comments, too, so we can have a serious or not so serious discussion in 360 days or so.
©2013 by Alison Colby-Campbell