Phipps: New Year's Resolutions

January 9, 2017 08:30 AM

One of the timeworn traditions of beginning of a new year is the resolve to organize and improve our lives. Almost inevitably, this involves making a list. From that we then shuffle those into some sort of order - most important, most urgent, most desirable, and so forth. I've tried this scheme a few times, and this is what I've discovered about such comprehensive lists.

First, they can get really long. Whether it's goals for the new year, problems to be solved or habits we want to form or break, all of our lives can generate a daunting number of separate steps that need to be accomplished. Each detail we add can trigger another related item. From exercising more to changing our passwords more often, the process of upgrading our lives can get complicated quickly.

Second, these lists seldom last very long. It's not much fun to pull them out and compare the items completed with those left to do. So they tend to languish in our desk drawers or unopened in our computer and phone.

Third, things change in our life, so many of the items become irrelevant or even undesirable. Predicting at the beginning of the year what we need or should do isn't easy. It may even harden us to changes needed later on due new circumstances that arise unexpectedly.

So as I've gotten older, I decided to center on a New Year's Resolution, and a short-range one at that.

You have heard that running gag, "You had ONE JOB…" and that's exactly how I approach self-improvement. Something I can do in the near future, and promptly cross it off. In fact, I've already completed my New Year's List as I speak. It was not a trivial undertaking, but it is done.

So while many others are fretting about 2017, my conscience is clear for the next 11 ½ months.

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