I considered going back to my former, iron-clad resolution: “Make no stupid resolutions you have no intention of keeping.” My commitment – my resolve – has faltered, gradually, the last few years, and that’s one resolution I always managed to keep, till that day a few years ago when I decided to tempt fate and start blogging my aspirational goals for the coming year. This quotation helped me to quit smoking, so my first resolution is to read it and reaffirm my commitment daily till it’s all just a habit:
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”
— W. H. Murray in The Scottish Himalaya Expedition, 1951
All goals ought to be SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Aspirational, Reasonable, and Time-Bound. So here goes:
- Read (at minimum) two books each month: one for brain food; one for pure entertainment. Discuss them here, on the blog.
- Reach goal weight by this time next year; lose 1.35-2 lbs. per week, while exercising for strength and endurance.
- Finish #NaNoWriMo2017 before starting #NaNoWriMo2018. (I keep my promises!)
- Celebrate National Poetry Month 2018, in April, rather than the A to Z blogging challenge.
- Celebrate Banned Books Week 2018 (Sept. 23 – Sept. 29) and continue tradition of encouraging my (now grown) kids to read banned and challenged literature while standing up for free speech.
- Travel! Share adventures through stories and photos.
- Crochet something soft, warm, usable, and slightly challenging (sampler blanket, sweater, gloves) before the next “Ice Age.” (It’s about 20 degrees here in Texas, as I’m typing this!
- Declutter, both physically and mentally. Focus on the blog, leave anti-social media in the dust.
- Write and mail postcards to friends (one daily).
- Journal offline, at least three times a week, and track achievements (personal and work-related) daily.
- Learn Farsi.
That’s enough for now. No, one more: #12 – revisit the list monthly. Never subtract, but add as needed.
Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; and A New Leaf for Lyle. She draws inspiration from her family, from her own childhood adventures (some of which only happened in her overactive imagination), and from readers both young and young at heart. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, J.J., whose love and encouragement make writing books twice the fun.
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