Resolutions Abound

It’s a week into the new year, and most everyone I know, including myself, has announced their resolutions to make their lives’ better than the previous year. To do this, first you must recognize that there is bad in your life. It might be the way you eat, work, play, or lack thereof. It’s then up to us to make a grand gesture at the first of every year to abolish them.

Most resolutions fade as quickly as hangovers. As soon as the alcohol is out of our system, so are those silly promises we told ourselves. Some might hold on for several months. However, I’ve yet to hear of a resolution that has made it through the entire year. My theory?

Change sucks.

That’s a level of commitment most people lack, especially when you’re promising yourself to lose weight enough to look good in that bathing suit while you breeze through a marathon run. Or in my case, write that blockbuster novel that makes J. K. Rowling look like Moon People. Change is hard enough without making it horribly unrealistic.

So, my wife turn me on to this blog post the other day. In essence it tells you to not focus on a specific tangible goal. Start small. One word, small. Take that word and use it like a mantra throughout your day. Supposedly if you do this right, not only will the things you want changed change, it’ll effect other aspects of your life. Don’t take my word for it. That blog post states it much better than I can.

So I’m taking the challenge, but I had a hard time narrowing it down to only one word. So I’m doing three. In for a pinch, in for a pound, right? So here they are:

FORTITUDE

The mental or emotional strength to face difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation with courage. There are countless things I’ve missed out on or avoided, because I didn’t want to confront them. Whether it was fear of failure or personal injury, I’d let that fear dictate far too many things in my life. I need to face my shit head-on and not falter in the face of adversary. I will focus on this word to open doors in my life. Heaven knows it could use some airing out.

ADAPTABILITY

As much as I’d lie to say I go with the flow, I really only do that as long as the flow is going in my direction. I hate — borderline loathe — changing my plans. It doesn’t matter if the alternative is better, faster or more fun. I didn’t plan on it. It shouldn’t have happened. End of story. What I need to be like is Agent Smith from the Matrix. You know what scene I’m talking about. The one where he’s dodging all those bullets without moving his feet. I need to be flexible like that. It would make for far fewer disappointments.

FOLLOW-THROUGH

Finish. See it to the end. I can start a million projects, but what good is that if I don’t see a one through? No good at all. Here in America, not only do we want things, we want things NOW. It’s all about streamlining the process to make it faster. Fast food. Movies on demand. Tweets straight to your phone. I’ve become so used to getting things as soon as I think of them that when it comes to a project that requires a long haul, I get daunted halfway through and either stop or half-ass the rest. No publisher will buy half a written book. Ideas don’t sell. Sweat the sweat and show what your labors can create. That’s what I need to do.

I know that sound like a lot. It is. So I’ll dole them out in courses. Maybe rotate them monthly. I could even use them as I need them. Where’s the rule saying I can’t? See? There’s that Adaptability thing already working for me.

So if you were to choose a word to focus on in the next year, what would it be and why?

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