Sunday, December 30, 2012

Resolutions

Dear and loyal Reader,

I'm glad you're back!  As 2012 nears to a close, I've been thinking about good times and bad, reflecting on the goings-on of this year, and plotting/scheming/planning ways to make 2013 great.  What I have not been doing is making New Year's Resolutions.  Those are for suckas.

Let me explain.

Several years ago, I realized that New Year's Resolutions didn't work for me.  I realized that if there was something in my life that needed to be changed, waiting until the first of the year to change it wasn't doing anyone any good.  Especially me!  However, what I failed to do in the past was set goals-- we'll come back to that later.  So, having realized that I was no sucka, I stopped making resolutions at the start of every year.  I started along a laissez-faire path of living my dream life, doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, setting my own destiny on my own terms...

No, that's not what happened at all.  You see, I'm a mercurial person.  A friend once described my personality as "random chaos" (which I always enjoyed as a recursive double-definition).  I have a tendency to want to try everything, but I don't want to put in the effort to get "good at" anything.  The things that I am naturally good at tend to be the things furthest from my reach at a given moment--when I was in the Navy, I didn't have take many opportunities to sing.  I bought a French horn that I rarely played.  I was like a dog distracted by squirrels; anything shiny or interesting that came my way, I went after it.  I traded a washing machine for a banjo and I still don't know a single chord.  I made some collages when I was at sea, but I didn't keep any of them, and I only showed a couple of people.  I didn't write much...  So, I spent money on every passing fancy/interest/hobby that came my way, and to what end?  Nothing to show for it.

The lesson here is that while mercurial Melephants make mighty mates, we are also generally ghastly goal-setters.  Got it?

You see, the great thing about my observation years ago was that I realized that we can be agents of change whenever we want to be!  There are all kinds of wonderful quotes about change.  Here are two of my favorites:  Andy Warhol said "they always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself" and Gandhi encouraged us to "be the change you wish to see in the world".  The not-so-great thing about my observation was that I lacked the discipline and self-awareness necessary to realize that being an agent of change in my own life life is a wonderful thing-- if properly structured.  I didn't set goals.  Not solid, measurable ones, anyway.  In fact, I only started setting measurable goals for myself about five days ago.  Yikes!  I mean, look at the opening post on this blog!  At the end of that first post, here is what I said:

"So, Reader, what should you expect?  Crappy grammar, the occasional clever cut of jib, alliterative allusions, a bunch of mystic-speak, and an all-around good time.  I don't have a posting schedule.  I don't have a theme.  I just have a passion for sharing, and helping people not feel alone.  Helping people find their own Blue Bird of Happiness."

I don't have a posting schedule...  So what I basically said was "I am doing this because I feel like it right now, and I may not ever feel like it again.  I have put a bunch of words on the internet, and now I will tell my friends I am a writer.  I am awesome.  I think I'll go get stupid drunk and cry about how no one will ever read a book if I write one".

Goal setting is an important thing, but it doesn't have to be a difficult thing.  Goals don't have to be elaborate, they just have to be measurable enough for you to compare the actual result to the desired result and determine success or failure, and structured/detailed enough to guide you to the outcome.  If you're truly happy with what you've got, then your goal can be to just keep doing what you're doing!  Me though, I'm not happy with what I've got-- 2012 was a pretty rough year that could have been a lot easier if I had been better prepared.

2013 should be an interesting year for me.  I have tapped into a long-dormant motivation, and feel well-equipped to achieve the goals I've set.  Among my 2013 goals are to read 52 books in 52 weeks (I'll be keeping you up to date on my progress), and to post regularly to this blog.  I'll be updating on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  I'd also like to see Melephant's Musings reach 10 followers by the end of the year, so I've made it easier to sign up for updates-- note the handy Subscribe To section under the archive!

Posting more often and begging for followers isn't some desperate cry for attention.  In the same quote (where I made fun of myself for) stating I wouldn't have a posting schedule I also said that I have a passion for sharing, and helping people not feel alone.  How the hell can I convince someone they're not alone if I abandon them for weeks (months) at a time?

Please feel free to leave a comment-- let me know what you dig.  Let me know what you don't dig.  Let me know one of your goals!  But keep those Resolutions to yourself.  Suckas.

Until Next!



PS:  Because someone will read this and point out that on a 5-string banjo G is an open chord, I feel the need to point out that I beat you to it.  I lied before; know one chord on the banjo.  It's a start!  And yes, I have gotten stupid drunk and cried and said no one will ever read a book if I write one.  Gonna write one anyway.

1 comment:

Veronica said...

You know something, I always think of you when I see or hear anything having to do with a French Horn...

But what I really came here to say was that I don't make resolutions either. Several years back it occurred to me that I have never kept a single one in my entire life--not one, not ever! So I decided right then and there that New Year's Resolutions are for the birds and that I was never going to make one again. Of course, there is nothing wrong with having goals, but I'm with you on the idea that if something needs changing, then change it. Plain and simple.