This is the time of year when we write resolutions and set goals. But how many of us make it a priority this year to become kind instead of rich, generous instead of well-traveled?
One day, I hope to receive a business card that says:
Mr. So and So
Profession: A good person
For help of any kind, please call…
But then I know we are only people. We think of goals and achievements. We want to travel to this place or that, get a degree or other, land a dream job, or fall in love.
We think in terms of concrete things and tangible achievements. After all, it’s not easy to measure patience, kindness, or understanding. And these won’t promise you a peaceful retirement, either. On the contrary, they may even soften you all round in our “competitive times,” much to your disadvantage.
The world is as it is and we are as we are, that is, worldly in the extreme. “Be a kinder person,” or “Be more patient with mother,” may not make it to the top of our resolutions, but surely we can smuggle such dreams into the more practical baggage of goals we will carry with us this year. At least we can try.
And as to practical resolutions, they are good to have. But when I write mine, I try to remind myself of a few things:
- Don’t place most of your anticipated happiness in one resolution only, Vincent. You may not finish your book this year, but have a good year nevertheless.
- Include others in your resolutions, too, will you? Sometimes, Vincent, what’s best for you isn’t the best thing for those closest to you.)
- Make sure that what you wish for won’t make you work so hard that you won’t have time to let spontaneous things happen to you. (I’m still waiting for my spontaneous combustion to happen.)
- Print your resolutions and stick them somewhere where you can’t miss them – digital resolutions are so easy to forget.
- Balance out emotional, physical, intellectual, social, and professional resolutions. (Did anyone say social?)
- Put deadlines on your resolutions.
- Ask yourself this – if I am to die this year, what are the things that I really have to do?
- Don’t set too many resolutions or a few months into the year you’ll feel overwhelmed, forget your list somewhere, and get nothing done.
In previous years I shared my resolutions with you. This year, though, I have only one:
Be kind – to yourself, to others, to your writing, to your camera, to your blog, to strangers, to everyone and everything life makes happen before you.
What’s your most important resolution this year?