Thursday, January 03, 2008

No Resolutions Here

I don't do New Year's Resolutions. I know it's practically an American Institution (not sure about the rest of the world) and I've been asked a dozen times this week what my resolutions are, and my answer's the same every time: nothing. I've thought a little bit about why that is, and I think for me the answer is that it's more of a daily process than a yearly one; and that resolutions are not as useful in my life as goals. A resolution carries the implication that one will do this thing or else, and that if the resolution is somehow not accomplished, one has failed. I refuse to accept the language of failure. In fact, one of the big reasons that I unschool my kids is that I can't state strongly enough (at least not in polite words) my dislike of our society's win/lose, succeed/fail mentality. I tell my kids all the time: mistakes are opportunities for learning and growth. To resolve to do something is different than to have a goal to do something. A goal is a target you're aiming at. Goals are measurable, achievable, and if need be, alterable. How many times do you hear people resolve to do such nebulous things as "get in better shape", "exercise more", "eat better", etc. ? If I have a goal to complete a certain race, then for sure I don't need to resolve to exercise more. I'll exercise more in order to achieve my goal.

While my goals are a bit in flux for this year's triathlon season, I've got lots of other stuff on the plate to fix my attention on. I've got goals for my photography and writing, for my Team in Training coaching, for the kids' robotics team I'm coaching, and for getting our family ready for a big bike touring trip this coming fall. When the right races present themselves, I'm sure I'll sign up and then I'll have my triathlon goals in place as well. And the rest will sort itself out.

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