Normally a New Year post of mine is written halfway through November, and tweaked through December for publication on the 1st of the year. This year I haven’t done that because I wanted to actually sit down and think about what kind of goals I wanted, if I indeed wanted goals at all. A sponsored article dropped into my inbox and it got me thinking about goal mentalities.
Goals have end points, but we don’t want to work towards that end point; either in life (which is death) or with God (which would bring our journey to an end). Goals have criteria that we either work toward or away from, that we hit or we miss. In goals we succeed or we fail; there’s no grace in that dichotomy. I had never thought of it this way until now.
The article then goes on to talk about formations, or rather being as opposed to doing. Obviously there are semantics in the English language (“I want to be a stone lighter” as opposed to “losing a stone”) but the being is consistent where the doing is not. No matter how the weight goal is structured in words it has an end point. If I use a nebulous term (“I want to weigh less”) is that even a change? I could just eat one meal less on New Year’s Eve and accomplish that. In that sense I have tricked myself or lied to myself for a quick dose of dopamine; if I do that I am no better than the world I am supposed to deny.
So I won’t refer back to my goals at the start of 2020 in detail. Coronavirus ruined a good chunk of them, but I am still here and (somewhat) healthy. Others are not, or they have had to change their lives so drastically that it is barely recognisable. Having said that, I will refer back to one goal: I am typing on a mechanical keyboard that I built from scratch, and it is every bit as good as I had hoped.
I want to make changes this year; I still want to change my eating habits so I’m healthier, and I still want to do more in terms of reading and making to keep my mind busy. I want to make time for pursuing things that matter; forging relationships that matter both with those around me and with God.
If I pursue things that matter, in time I will have a life around me that is based on the values I cherish. That is a resolution I can get behind.