Resolute On Resolutions
~ Flaubert ~
I resolve there will be no resolutions for the year 2008 from the footnoteMaven! And I am resolute on that.
Every, and I do mean every, year I vow to become more organized, clutter free, to live the Zen existence. Has it ever in my entire life happened? Nooooooo! Then why do I continue to set myself up for failure?
I read that the most common New Year’s Resolutions are Get Organized, Be More Spiritual, Lose Weight, Quit Smoking, and Spend More Time With the Family (O.K. GeneaBloggers probably have a few more).
No offense to those who flourish under the burden of promising one's self broad far reaching goals, but these do absolutely nothing to inspire me. And I work from inspiration. I think so broad a resolution may be the reason I go down to defeat and have to admit it on January 1 of every year. Resolutions remind me of "To Do Lists" which I am well known for misplacing (a Freudian slip).
So I decided to look around for a solution with a better fit for me. I think I've found it in the form of Christine Kane who blogged "Resolution Revolution: A Better Way to Start Your Year."
Why Resolutions Don’t Work
The reason most resolutions don’t work is that they address only one level of your life. The DO level. It’s the DO-HAVE-BE model. “I will DO this thing.” (i.e., Lose weight) “So I can HAVE this other thing” (Self-Esteem) and I can BE this thing. (Confident.)
The average New Year’s Resolution doesn’t address the core of the issue - the “BE” level.
The best order for creating positive changes in your life is the BE-DO-HAVE model. This means you start from the BE level. When you begin changing on the BE level of your life, then the DO level and the HAVE level follow more easily.
When you start only on the DO level, then all the blocks on the BE level will often become the obstacles you can’t overcome.
I think she may be on to something. So for me, the "Get Organized" is the DO level; so I can HAVE a lovely field of vision and instant access to everything I own; so that I can BE more calm and stress free.
So instead of a resolution at the "DO" level she suggests you sit quietly in your environment (for me, amid the mess and clutter) and pick a single word as my touchstone, my guide for the year. A word that will remind me of living my life at the BE level. Now this doesn't give me a "get out of decluttering free card" it just means that the actions I take are inspired from the BE level.
For those of us who look around and see clutter all over our life, she suggests the word release. So, every time you approach your clutter you remind yourself of the word release. O.k, maybe that's just a little too new age for me, but it does make sense on some level.
So, after sitting amid the clutter and reflecting, I have chosen the word "permission." Because, you see, this is all my mother's fault. Isn't it always the fault of the mother's of the world?
All my life my mother would say, "You don't throw out the written word." And she had a room to back up that statement. It was stacked to the ceiling with Life, Look, and National Geographic magazines. She never threw out one of those magazines. There was more information contained in my Mother's magazine room than in our school or town libraries. When it was time to write a report I only had to visit "the room." Even my friends visited "the room" for inspiration. Today, I can't bring myself to throw out the written word.
So I'm going the one word route this year. After reflection I think the word "permission" can actually work in many aspects of my life. Particularly those in which I give myself permission to say "NO" where appropriate, or permission to toss the written word. Whoa, I'm feeling a little clutter free already.
What the heck, it can't be any worse than my resolution win loss rate thus far. And you have to wonder, does the word "permission" give me "permission" to ignore the word "permission" guilt free, thereby putting me in the win column for the year?
This one word idea has real promise.
Gutekunst, F., photographer. “[Professor E.D. Cope's Study. Cluttered office of famous zoologist Edward Drinker Cope, c1897.]” Photograph. Philadelphia: F. Gutekunst, c1897. From Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?ils:5:./temp/~pp_UeJe::@@@mdb=fsaall,app,
ils,prok,brhc,nclc,matpc,iucpub,tgmi,lamb(accessed December 30, 2007).