Skipping the New Year’s Resolution

I’ve never been one to make New Year’s Resolutions for a couple reasons:

1. I like to re-evaluate my life more than once a year, and make changes as appropriate, when appropriate and,
2. I want to do things in my life that are important and have meaning outside of the fact that it’s the start of a new year and I feel like I should make some sort of commitment to making a change.

Let’s look at the first one. This was perfectly demonstrated by the comment my mother made when I told her my husband and I were moving out of state: I’m not surprised. You’ve always done what you want, when you want anyway. I had to think about that for a minute, but then I realized she’s right. I have always been very good about making a decision for my life and sticking to it. And, if I discover somewhere along the way that it wasn’t the right decision for me, I have no problem moving on and scrapping the original idea. That’s what life is all about, after all.

Although I don’t think there is any harm in making a resolution at the start of the year, and I appreciate people who genuinely do it and stick to it, I have never felt a need to do it myself. The decisions that have meaning in my life are made through purpose, motivation, and yes, often need for a change. However, there are so many times throughout the year that the need arises for change that I don’t ever want to limit myself to the start of the year. Not to mention, if I’m totally honest with myself, the resolutions I might make surrounding exercising more and eating healthier are much more likely to succeed if I make them in the spring, when the weather’s nicer and it’s easier to find decent fresh produce.

This year, I thought it was quite fitting that my husband and I decided to create our “vision board” on January 1. We spent an entire day together, working through our dreams and goals, both individually and as a married couple. We’ve talked a lot since we met about what we wanted for our lives, the things we’d love to have someday, and where we might end up. We’ve never actually talked about how we might get there though. We decided it was about time we started setting some concrete goals for ourselves, and making each other aware of the things we both want in life. Sometimes, I think we forget to look at the big picture, the “dream,” if you will, because we’re so caught up in focusing on the little things — the immediate needs and wants.

Both of us want to eventually own our own businesses, either full- or part-time. We talked about making this happen and decided that it isn’t out of the realm of possibility to at least have a solid plan for each of us and start working toward getting it rolling within the next year. We also decided that if we really want something for our life, there is no reason we can’t get. We are both hard workers, and we’re both aware of the fact that if we want our dreams to come true, it might mean long days and little time together for a while. Surprisingly, we’re both OK with that, but one thing we both said was that it was important we make time to spend together, too.

We’re now 4 days into 2013, have a skeleton vision board created that just needs some pictures to add some flare, and we have a clear direction we’re heading. It feels good. Making those “life resolutions” instead of new year’s resolutions helped us know what we have to do if we’re going to achieve them. There’s nothing saying we can’t change our minds down the road — in fact, we’ll probably change some things here and there forever. But that’s how dreams and goals work — once you achieve them, there’s more waiting just out of sight. The important things is knowing what those dreams are, even if you don’t yet see the path you’ll take to get there. By placing one foot in front of the other, and knowing where you ultimately want to be, you’ll eventually get there. Even if that means taking a few detours or wrong turns along the way.

About Jamie Schwoerer

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