As we begin a new year, I have been thinking about making resolutions. I’m not sure what the ancient origins of the practice are, but I went to the dictionary and discovered that besides being the act of making a public commitment about a thing one plans to do, to resolve means to analyze or to break something up into its component parts. Both definitions combined are perfect for making a goal for the new year.

In the past, I had decided not to make New Year resolutions because I thought I should be living the way I want to daily, not just talking about it for the first couple of weeks of the new year, and then forgetting about them.
But this year, I decided I would make a resolution.

I decided that I want my goals to be meaningful. I want them to be things I could do every day, things that fit into my current life, and choices that move me towards the life I am building. I want them to be simple, measurable, and hold my interest for the entire year. I want them to challenge me and to support me. It’s a pretty tall order, I know. I moved from nothing to great expectations and “New Year” plans.

So now the pendulum is swinging back towards middle ground. I want my resolutions to be a map that I can follow to guide me to where I want to grow and evolve. I want to be able to hold myself accountable to them and check in with them weekly. I want them to be flexible so that I can change them if they aren’t working for me. They’re my resolutions, after all, and I get to make them my way.

I hope that my struggle with this tradition helps you to think of your resolutions differently, too. What is it you really want out of life every day? Who do you want to become at the end of this year? What do you want to let go? How will your life be when you have completed your goals?

The best ideas for setting your own goals include: make sure they are not too complicated, not too large, and that they work for you. Having a friend or a buddy to hold you accountable might be helpful, too. It might even be time to hire a coach.

I did make 4 resolutions for 2013, and if you want to know what they are, you’ll have to ask me.