Resolutions, or Perhaps Not

Here we are at the beginning of another year. Most of us made it, and for that I am thankful. Being the season when it is common to look forward and back, I find myself thinking about what changes I want to make this year. However, do not think I will make any New Year’s Resolutions.

I know from my work in organizational and human resource development, that goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. I know that a resolution to lose weight is not specific enough to be measured. It is thus not attainable (how would I know when it happens?), and thus unrealistic. Timeliness does not even fit with it when thought of in this framework. The same goes with saving money, helping the needy more, being a nicer person, and the like.

The reason why I am not making any resolutions this year? For me, there are two reasons. Firstly, it is easy to be idealistic and unrealistic when so many people are thinking about the same things. Easy to get swept up into something that sounds lofty and admirable, though won’t last when times get tough. Secondly, the goals I may set today may not be the same ones I want tomorrow. Yes, I like consistency and smooth transitions with personal growth on a regular basis. With life as complicated and wonderful and chaotic and integrated, can I really set myself something that will, with my personality, make me driven to accomplish something that may continue to develop as I do?

Yes, I want to read more, be more holistic in my learning and teaching, and take a more balanced approach to decision making. I can transform these desires into SMART goals, load them into Outlook, create reminders and rewards, etc. Doing that, they would just feel like they were part of a system, with their own primal Kantian sense of duty; rather than be my own personal aspirations that I can develop when and how I please.

I prefer the these types of aspirations.

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