I tend to think of resolutions as promises you can't keep. Very few people keep the resolutions they make each year. Maybe that's why they've fallen out of favor recently. I remember when making New Year's Resolutions was a big deal. Everyone made them. Magazines and newspapers had resolutions made by celebrities.
Everyone's lists looked like. Stop smoking. Lose weight. Exercise more. After a day or two of not smoking and eating lots of salads and a trip to the gym, you remembered the reason you weren't doing all those things in the first place. By the end of the month, if not the end of the first week, it was business as usual.
I stopped making resolutions a few years ago and started setting goals instead. Goals are things you're working toward. If you don't achieve them right away, you revise your timetable and keep on working at them.
Holly Lisle has a similar post this week. She prefers to think of having not only life goals, but a life theme. I've never thought of my life as having a theme before. Maybe that's because the theme has changed so many times.
When I was a child, my theme was Prince Charming will come along and rescue me from my miserable life so I can live happily every after. You can pretty much figure out how that went.
After I found out Prince Charming was Simon Legree, I figured I needed a different theme. My life's theme became I can survive on my own and I will prove to everyone I can do it. That worked out better. I went to school, worked hard, started a new career and divorced Mr. Legree. I managed to raise my son and become respected in my field. But that wasn't enough. I still wanted more in my life. And I found that a career peaked in your forties and was pretty much downhill from there.
Over the past couple of years, after losing several jobs to mergers and acquisitions and moving to different states in pursuit of yet another job that would end with the closing of the company, I've been drawn in another new direction. I had another dream as a little girl. I wanted to be a writer. But every time I voiced that dream, I was told to be practical. I got rusty. I didn't think about writing as something I did. But it's something I do now. And, as I've started to spin stories, I've also found that my relationship with God has become more important. Maybe it's because creativity is intimately linked to the divine. You get an idea for a character or a plot or a theme and you wonder where that came from. And you realize it must have been inspired.
So my new theme, brand new in 2011, is I will become closer to God and learn of Him and use my talents to His glory. I will follow my dream.