Thinking over this whole New Year’s Resolution thing and, after talking about it with my daughter, I agreed with her that oftentimes these “resolutions” end up being too vague, too intangible, and often they either fall by the wayside or are so meaningless that they’re, well, meaningless.
What we came up with, instead, was the idea of a list, a To-Do list, if you will. It might not be original; many people, (including a friend of my daughter who suggested it to my daughter) do some variation of this, but there were a few things we liked about this idea.
First, it’s tangible. This helps so much more than the “I want to be more…” or whatever that sounds great at the outset but loses its meaning when there is no real action attached to it. Without being something you can act on, it is just an idea. An idea which gets left in the back of some closet of your memory once you have real things to deal with in your life.
Second, it’s specific. That gives you some yardstick to measure how you’re doing. It means that at the end of the year you can take an accounting of yourself and your year and either celebrate your accomplishments or dedicate yourself to doing better next time.
Third, it lets you bite off more than you can chew. A good list will include more than you can accomplish in a year. By including more than you can do, you will reach further and do more than you would do with a safe or reasonable list. Sure, you have some undone things still on your list, but the list of things youhave accomplished will be all that much longer.
After all, as I have often said, it is not who you are or what you are or where you are or where you’ve been that are important. It is what you do that is important.
So, with that, here is my list of 2018 accomplishments I am shooting for (in no particular order):
- Send a book manuscript out for publication.
- Run a half marathon (I ran a marathon once, but that was a long time ago. Basically, I’m starting out fresh.)
- Travel to Italy. (My sister and I had planned to go and I have not done anything tangible toward that. Not yet.)
- Read the Book of Isaiah.
- Resurrect the St. Raphael’s Thanksgiving dinner at St. Martin’s Parish on North Capitol Street in D.C. This was one of my family’s favorite things to do, to help out with the Thanksgiving meal at the church and to distribute dinners to those who could not get out to the church. It lapsed into inactivity because the coordinators were not able to continue and no suitable replacement leaders volunteered. They need someone to step up. I can do that.
- Learn to paint watercolors.
Ok. So that’s my list, at least for the momoent. I just now started it so there might be more things to add once I have had a chance to think about it a bit.