Recently a notebook containing folksinger Woody Guthrie's New Year's resolutions was published and--despite the length of each list--his goals for the future appear charmingly simple: To brush what teeth he might have left and listen to the radio more. To help win the war, change his socks and "dream good". It got me to thinking that maybe the resolutions I've made in the past did nothing more than set me up for certain failure. Like a kid jumping into the deep end of the pool with no floaties on.
Perhaps there's a way to simply get closer to the things I want without actually guaranteeing to achieve them. Proximity has got to be better than nothing and in recent years? Nothing is exactly what I've achieved.
So...instead of promising to lose 15 pounds, I should simply say that I will just try to successfully zip
Rather than vowing to be kind to everyone I meet I'll just aim for reducing the number of times I go "Full Metal Jacket" on people who irritate me. In short, almost everyone.
Plan for one day out of every weekend where I am not parked on the sofa wearing
Take care to check for nearby witnesses when I audibly refer to school district administrators as dream killers.
Stop looking like the Crypt Keeper will now give way to Buy some moisturizer. And then actually use it.
What I've realized is that not only is the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, but that you will run barefoot down that same rocky avenue wearing kerosene pants. That means it's difficult to repeatedly make elaborate plans for your own self-improvement and then follow through. Wouldn't limiting the scope of one's expectations--at the very least--shorten the journey? For me, Woody's intention to shave more shines like a weak but steady beacon in the night.
And the idea of starting a journal solely for recording resolutions like the one Guthrie created sounds like an admirable goal and, because I'm a teacher, the image of a fresh notebook of clean, blank pages is especially appealing. But I don't want to get ahead of myself.
And isn't that, after all, a goal in and of itself? Judge's ruling, please!