rant: the resolution waiting game

I like goals. I dislike resolutions. New Year’s resolutions specifically. They go a little something like this…

Spend the last day(s) of December reflecting on the prior year. Identify one or more things that you want to change. Make sure they’re significant enough so you can feel accomplished when you succeed. But not so significant as to set yourself up for failure. Set a start date of January First. Celebrate the last hour(s) of the old year with general debauchery and proclamations of how great the new year will be.

Wake up January First and do one of two things:

  1. Succeed.
  2. Fail.

I’ve no issue with either success or failure. Each have their purpose. I do, however, have issue with waiting to start working toward some goal, whether ginormous or itsy bitsy, on some day that is rather arbitrary in the greater scheme of time. Days, months, years are just markers that while relevant to the documentation of historical occurrences and the planning of future events, are less meaningful than both history and future.

January 1, 2000-whatever ain’t nuthin’ but a number.

Whether you hope to make a lifestyle change or launch into a new project, does it really matter if the start date coincides with something so arbitrary? January First may be generally accepted as the dawn of a new year, but are the mechanics that change the dial from ’08 to ’09 really any more significant than those that change it from 2:59 to 3:00? Set a goal and start it today. Sure, today is January First, but what if today was April 17? Or August 29? Or December  23?

Celebrate beginnings.

But don’t wait for them.

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  1. #1 by Bubba on January 1, 2009 - 12:37 pm

    1/1 is merely a LITTLE more impetus for those needing a little boost. To properly motivated people it’s just another day on the calendar.

    Happy New Year! May your entire year be filled with fantastic beginnings!

  2. #2 by Jeremy Vaught on January 1, 2009 - 3:59 pm

    You mean I can set goals other times during the year too!? 🙂

    … but seriously, well said.

    And all the best in 2009!

  3. #3 by rjleaman on January 2, 2009 - 7:50 pm

    January 1st has never felt like a day for starting things, to me, in any case – still part of the holiday mode, full of reflection and formulating dreams, and also some sleeping in… January 2, now, that’s when the new year really kicks off! But you speak truth. Any day will do for a new beginning — after all, we make a big deal out of all manner of random (Hallmark-invented or artificially legislated or accidental) dates throughout the year, why not just pick whatever works? Forward momentum is, in the final analysis, what we want. Whether it’s this day or that one, that’s much less relevant.

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