Nothing Resolved

by MW Cook

     Here is my list of this New Year’s resolutions:

     As you can tell, my chances for success are high.

     I don’t do resolutions. Historically, they have hurt my chances of doing the things I want to do.

     Here’s what usually happens to people like me: At the dawn of a new year, I write up an admirable list of things I want to accomplish. Stuff about getting into shape, producing something creative and reaching some spiritual milestone. I make an action plan, tell my friends, print some motivational posters and am sprinting off the blocks.

     It goes well for a few weeks. Then, in a sudden, dark moment, I stop caring. I fail once.

     I remember the failure the next day. I still know how it tastes and I cannot shake the knowledge that I failed my resolution. I keep trying for a while, but it’s tainted now. By March, it’s all a memory.

     So I stopped making resolutions. Instead, I create habits.

     Habits grow naturally if you cultivate them. Resolutions, like stone walls, tend to crack.

     To write a book, I don’t sit down and resolve to do it. Instead, I habitually write.

     It started slow. First I’d write a couple times a month. I was never bothered that I didn’t write more because I had not resolved anything. There was no standard to give me guilt. After a while, I was writing a couple times a week. Now I write every single day. The habit has formed. There was no need for resolutions. In fact, had I made resolutions, I would have been depressed in the beginning that I was only writing a few times a month. And that would have weakened my resolve and the goal might have died.

     I generally succeed in the things I want to succeed at. And that’s a special thing. Because most people just dream of the things they want to have in their lives.

     Each and every second is new. January 1st is a date we made up. We might as well call April 16th at 4:34pm the new year. Your new start is whenever you want it to be. Make a new habit.