One thing I learned a long time ago is to control only what can be controlled -- myself. Sometimes I cannot even control me, as evidenced by past new year's resolutions. I have learned to keep it simple. No resolutions.
I don't suppose you can call something a new year's resolution if you do it every week or month and not just once a year. Every week I resolve to get all the laundry done, all the floors scrubbed and all the walls wiped down and every week I make a dent and then get caught up in more important things: cooking meals (or ordering in), reading books to review and writing in the cracks between the hours I am trapped at my desk working for a living. I get very little done outside of work, even reading, writing and cooking, all of which I love to do.
Before the new year dawns I resolved that there would be no more wage slavery for me and that I will write full time -- in two years. That is how long it will take for me to save two years' salary so I can quit my job and take the plunge. It will mean working more hours, not buying books or DVDs or all those neat gadgets for the kitchen and foods I want to try. It means sacrificing the present for a brighter and happier future in which I will write full time for two years and market all the books and stories I've already written and will continue to write. Is that a New Year's Resolution or more of a Johnny Paycheck moment that has grown into a full blown plan?
I think of resolutions as hopes for the future. I will eat better. I will lose weight and get fit. I will find love if I have to beat the bushes, chase it down and hog tie it. Resolutions are nebulous things, bright moments in the wake of disappoint, disgust and dismay, Scarlett O'Hara, hands grimy and roughened from digging a stunted and bitter carrot from the bloody, war torn ground to shake her small fits at the sky and declare, "I will never be hungry again."Resolutions are a beginning and resolve is the first step on the road to a carefully laid plan and a spark of determination that flares into a carefully controlled fire that will burn away resolutions and etch an indelible plan. This is where half-hearted resolutions become battle plans.
No resolutions for me this year, just a hard slog with a weed whacker to clear away the chosen path. Sacrifices will be made and they will hurt--they have a time limit--and they will be worth it. No resolutions, just resolve. This is the first year I can do something to change my life. A resolution is an empty wish, a brief hope for change. It takes resolve to become the change and make the dream a reality, and that I can do.