Roundtable Discussion 008: The New Year
“Do You Make New Year’s Resolutions? If so, what are they? If not, why?”
I’m a firm believer in goal-setting. The big problem is that, statistically, resolutions are hardly ever met. I think this usually stems from a combination of setting unrealistic goals and not working at it one a daily basis. What helps most (in my opinion) is to write it down… keep it as a brightly-colored post-it note… whatever it takes to help you accomplish it. I’d give yourself some some short-term goals and some long-term ones.
As for this year, The Year of the Rabbit, I’m stepping it up! I plan on learning to dance salsa. Since my future bride (Oct. 7th) is Puerto Rican, both our reception and rehearsal dinner will be full of latin music. My second resolution is to spend more time on languages. I spend countless hours driving from one place to the other, listening to the same songs over and over. Believe it our not, but I used to be relatively fluent in Polish. I’d also like to learn more Spanish (for obvious reasons). My final goal is to finish my second book, Ladies, I’m Talking To You (forecasted release, December 2011). This will just take a strong motivation for me to sit at my computer, turn off my cell phone and try my best not to click back over to Facebook – another time consumer that I should file down.
I am always setting goals for myself, but they have nothing to do with New Year’s Eve or other events. I look at things I want to accomplish, and then I determine what needs to be done for that to happen. Then I proceed to take the steps necessary to accomplish the goal.
This is a never-ending process, and has little to do with what time of year it is.
This is the first year I explicitly did not make any resolutions. I resolved last year to simplify my life, and I intend to treat that goal as an ongoing pursuit. In the past, setting resolutions have been pretty successful for helping me progress towards my various goals. But my life has gotten busier and more hectic in recent years, making lofty year-long goals harder to achieve.
I’ve decided to switch over to shorter 30-day goals. By shifting my goal timeframes, I find it easier to get myself to take action and make lasting changes. Simple things like getting myself back into a daily meditation practice, flossing regularly, and setting aside personal practice time were my first goals which I’ve successfully managed to re-incorporate into my life. I hope to kick start my Chinese language studies and get myself on a better sleep schedule for my next round of month-long goals.
I do not make new years resolutions because I do not track my life according to the year. In the common way of thinking in terms of years, I do not think that way. I live more of a natural way. Like the animals, they would not know what year it is. They simply live and breath in the moment. That’s what I train myself to do. Like what the Tao would say, you would eat when you are hungry and you would sleep when you are tired.
I simply follow my way. I have no goals, but I still accomplish much without wasted effort. That is the essence of wu-wei, another strong concept of Tao.
I’d already made goals for myself before the end of the year so I guess technically they weren’t new years resolutions. My first goal was to do a better job of planning out my day so I can be more productive.
A big part of this is waking up at 8am to workout giving me more of the day to check off my to do list before I have to teach class. I also decided to put aside more time for my own martial arts training as I have done more teaching than training lately.
I also decided to go back to school this year. I’m not planning any kind career change I just had some free time and saw some classes that would give me an opportunity to reunite with an old love (Art) and explore a new one (Writing).
I think resolutions can be a good thing if people stick to them, but it seems that more often than not people make new years resolutions just so they can break them later. Personally I’m happy to report that all my goals are still going strong!
My main reason for not making resolutions is I feel each and everyone should be striving to do better then the day before.
If you have something you are trying to give up – do your best to deal with it. If it something that is affecting your family or work life – don’t deal with it on your own. There is nothing wrong with asking for help to gain control again. This is part of learning to master the self.
新年快乐！在兔年！Happy Chinese New Year!Year of the Rabbit! ( My sign is the Rabbit. So this should be a good year:)
What are your goals for 2011 everybody?