Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Friday, January 21, 2011

It Should Be So Simple

Here we are at the end of the third week of January, and I still haven't decided what to do about resolutions for the new year.  At some point, of course, the question becomes moot.  Nondeciding becomes a decision.  But are we there yet?  Has the renewal train already left the station?

I've had years in the past when I didn't make New Years resolutions, and more when I did.  Some I kept.  Too many, I did not.  But I can't recall a year when I couldn't make up my mind, even about whether to engage in the ritual or not.

Maybe I am suffering from improvement fatigue.  Last year, I pushed and prodded myself into anteing up more changes than in any year I can recall.  I don't want to reduce this year's resolutions to "ditto," but neither do I want to retreat from those efforts I am still working hard to maintain.  As I pass through the mental buffet of possible good intentions, I am aware of a plate near capacity.

I have been considering the "word for the year" approach, touted by Gretchen Rubin in her recent Happiness Project video post, and recommended by life coaches and others--including a website devoted to the approach called My One Word--as "a new kind of resolution."  The idea is to come up with a one-word theme for the year, a word that will encapsulate and inspire the way we want the coming year to be spent, the change we intend.  

Apparently, some people have been doing this for a long time, with or more often without the accompaniment of the standard list of too-easily-broken-early-in-the-year promises of reform and achievement.  But they were pretty much keeping it to themselves.  The practice is only now trickling down to my little corner of the mainstream.

The simplicity appeals, but I am having trouble with execution.  A number of words recommend themselves.  But that is the problem.  For this word-obsessed communicator, the struggle to select just one is reminiscent of the old Lay's potato chip commercial--you know, "No one can eat just one?"  Or is it more like Sophie's Choice, given the stakes, and the wrench of the decision?  

Among my contenders, at present?  Compassion.  Ease.  Journey.  Coffee.  Revel.  Dance.  Sing.  Serenity.  Listen.  Release.  Laugh.  Alive.  Nutmeg.  Space.  Snoopy.  Parvenu.  Grace.  Shell.  Hand-made.  Grow.  Slow.  Persevere.  Believe.  Course.  Smooth.  Bliss.  Up.  Strong.  Quiet.  Breathe.  Stay.  Declutter.  Be. . . . and so many, many others.

You see my dilemma.  (Oh, what about Dilemma?)  The search continues. . . 

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