I’m making two resolutions for this new year. Just two.
I’m sure I’ll end up setting other goals and working toward them as the year progresses. However, my optimistic resolutions from New Year’s Eve, 2019, didn’t survive the 2020 roller coaster ride. Best to start slowly this time around.
So, for 2021, just two.
One is measurable, easy to define: Read one book per month, for a total of 12 books by the end of the year.
I didn’t used to have to set a goal to read, but in recent years, my reading dedication has been displaced by other…stuff. That stuff is mostly social media silliness, which can be fun but which also eats up time without necessarily giving anything of value in return.
I’ve also found that I can’t concentrate like I used to, that I have to go back and read the same paragraph several times because my mind wanders in the middle of it. This state of distraction is related to the constant barrage of information coming from social media, 24/7 news, and eleventy-billion digital entertainment options, I’m sure.
Whatever the reason, I don’t want it to happen anymore. What I do want is to get lost in a story again, to become so wrapped up in the plot and characters that I lose track of time and forget where I am. I want to be inspired by words, to learn new things, consider new ideas, and enjoy the message.
One book per month is attainable and realistic. I suspect I’ll end up reading more as I get back into the swing of things, but one per month is good to start.
My second goal is not really something that can be measured. It’s more of an idealized perspective, a state of being: Be a nice human.
It’s a simple goal, one that can be achieved without much planning or preparation. However, it does require intent. It sometimes requires deliberate action and conscious choice. And that can be hard, at times.
So, I’ll work hard to achieve this goal, but I’ll also forgive myself when I’m not perfect. I’ll grant myself grace when I have a bad day.
I’ll also remind myself that being a nice human doesn’t have a finish line. Nobody’s waiting to hand me a gold medal on a podium as I complete the race. What matters is each decision I make, moment to moment, day by day. And if I keep trying, if I mostly choose to be nice instead of selfish, nice instead of angry, nice instead of rude or mean, petty or hurtful, I’ll have done something worthwhile.
Here’s to a new year and new resolutions. I wish you health, happiness, and all good things in 2021.