I say that I make New Year's Resolutions, but I hate to call them that. The term makes me think of unattainable goals that have little chance of being reached. People do it every year, just setting themselves up to fail, and then feel crappy for about themselves.
I like to set a realistic and reachable goal. I'll give myself the year to master it. I've done pretty okay with this system.
How okay? Last year's resolution was Have A More Beautiful House. It was kinda vague, but it made so much sense! I focused on what was in front of my eyes instead of building some detailed system of organization that I wasn't likely to maintain. If my goal was to look at something pleasing, the ugly had to go. That meant making clutter and dust and mess disappear.
When I walked in the front door, I wanted to see my dining room table with a vase of flowers, rather than a horizontal surface covered in school newsletters and an empty sugar bowl and somebody's lego project. I made it priority to make things look better, to make me and my eyes happy, and with that motivation I did okay.
It worked so well I ended up making my house like, magazine worthy, so I can sell it. In the meantime I continue with my Beautiful House project in whatever house I happen to be living in. I'm not doing the best job of it but I strive for the goal. I'm making it a habit.
All of this is lead up to this year's goal.
This was a piece of advice given to me by one of my writer friends. (Blog commenters will know him as Paul Tee.) We were discussing my beloved manuscript which didn't quite stir up the world of literary agents like I'd hoped. I was whining about my bad timing and how much work I've poured into that book, and that I'd decided to set it down for a year or so to work on something else.
He warned me that if I catch an opportunity to make this book happen, I need to have it ready. I myself have to be ready.
I got to thinking over the last month that those two words can have an impact on my entire life.
I've been getting my horses and barn ready for riding students since September. When the ground thaws and the air warms up in the spring, I will BE READY.
All that while, we've been preparing our house for sale, so that when the sign goes up, we will BE READY and somebody out there will be willing to pay what we're asking for a lovely house.
Eventually we'll start looking around for our little farm, we will have all our affairs in order, and when we find the right place, we'll BE READY.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go sweep my barn...