I don’t know about you, but after the long holiday season, I’m always pretty fired up for the new year to begin. Sure, I’m a little sad that Christmas has come and gone, but nothing can last forever. Besides, the changing of the year is the cleaning of the slate. On January 1, we start anew, and with that comes an opportunity to make the upcoming year even better than the one before it. When you think about it, that’s part of the reason why we make resolutions.
Only I hate resolutions. Resolving to do something makes that something sound like an arduous and unpleasant task, doesn’t it? It implies that the something can be done, but to do it, it’ll take all that you’ve got. And while many things worth doing take all that you’ve got, I seldom “resolve” to do them.
For example, each year my friend, Chris Chambliss, and I do a section of the Appalachian Trail. In ’09 we did eighty miles in five days. Hiking fifteen plus miles a day for the better part of a week while carrying a forty-pound backpack up and down steep inclines certainly qualifies as something that takes all that you’ve got–both physically and mentally. It takes great resolve. But Chris and I don’t make a yearly resolution to do it. Whenever we plot out our course, neither one of us looks at the other and said “This year, our resolution is to do one hundred miles.”
Instead we say, “This year, our goal is to do one hundred miles.”
And that’s what I do on New Year’s Eve. I make goals. Not resolutions. Striving toward a goal is uplifting. Even if you fall short, it’s okay. Anytime you do your best to meet your goals, you should be happy. If you constantly set worthwhile goals, and if you continually do your best to achieve each and every one of them, odds are you will live a fulfilling and worthwhile life. At least that’s what I believe.
So what are my New Year’s goals? This year, like each of the two prior ones, most of my goals pertain to my family or me. (Funny how adding triplets to the roster alters your glance inward. At least for a while.) I have a goal of becoming a better husband to Lovie, and a better dad to Pookie, A, B, and C. Another goal is to become a better Christian, and a better man. There is much work to do on all of these fronts, and to make progress will take all that I’ve got, but I’m not biting my tongue and resolving to do them with a furrowed brow of masachistic determination.
I’m setting hope-filled goals and promising to do my best to reach them. For my family. And for me.
Oh. I almost forgot. There is actually one goal this year that doesn’t pertain to my family. I’m extremely excited about. You’ll hear about it soon.
Happy New Year, everyone! God bless…