I write with one goal today. Empowerment.
I want to empower you to achieve what you hope for this year. I want to empower myself to reach some lofty goals. I think I have just the trick up my sleeve we require.
But first, a confession. I broke some major resolutions in 2015. Some of those failures were very public. I’m embarrassed by them.
First, I put a challenge last year - the Learn Your Art Challenge. I wanted us each to learn a new skill, then I promised to host a mini-conference where we’d teach each other those skills at the end of the year. Great idea, right? Didn’t happen. A couple of you replied, but I dropped the ball. No follow-up. No mention of it again. Ball dropped.
Second, I told you I’d record an EP of my own material last year. I told you so I’d be held accountable. Now the reckoning. No new EP. Barely even a stab at a few recordings in that direction.
I’m tired of being disappointed at my own failures, how about you?
The truth is, plans are only plans, with plenty you cannot account for. Goals are great, but they are not iron-clad, blood-signed contracts with your future self. Not even when you call them something so lofty as a New Year’s Resolution.
Surprising things happened last year. My church closed down. I renovated my basement. I bought a new car. My mom went into the hospital. My dad had a health scare. I guessed at none of that on January 1, 2015. All of it affected my personal goals in some way.
You may be the type who makes resolutions or you may one who has given up long ago. I refuse to give up. I think ambition is important and I remain bound by hope. Still, I’ve been at a loss on what to do with that list of failures. Until now.
This year, I’m shifting focus. I’m making my resolutions in reverse.
Rather than start with a big list of what I need to fix about me, I’m making a list of accomplishments.
A Reverse Resolution looks back at the year gone by and says ‘I’m proud of what I did’.
Here are five things I did in 2015 that I am proud of, even though they weren’t on my list of resolutions when the year began.
ONE: I quit my job to focus on my calling.
I actually do not believe this is always the right decision. I don’t believe all dreams are created equal or that personal fulfillment is the ultimate goal of a life well lived. I do feel believe this was the right year for me to make a shift.
I made this shift at the end of October and haven’t regretted it for one moment.
TWO: I landed a gig with CBC Radio.
In the latter part of 2015, I became an arts columnist for CBC RadioActive. I would never have believed you had you told me this was in store when last year began. But here I am, visiting galleries so I can go on the radio twice a month and tell people what they should see. I remain amazed at this stroke of good fortune.
THREE: I built a new studio.
At the very, very end of the year, I was putting finishing touches on a brand new creative space. This space allows me to work on projects without having to put everything away every day. I now have a room where I can leave my mess of cables plugged in and simply create music when inspiration strikes. More importantly, I can create when inspiration does not strike, too.
FOUR: I found a new church home.
When 2015 started, I had no idea I’d be looking for a new church by the summer. I am so grateful to have landed at St.Faith’s Anglican Church, where my family feels welcome and at home. I am learning so much from the Anglican community. I still have tons to learn, so things should remain interesting for quite some time.
FIVE: I finally committed to a fitness routine.
This one has taken me a few years of trial and error. In the fall, I discovered a routine I would actually stick with and have kept up at least 5 workouts a week for three or four months now (with the odd holiday exception for good measure). This goal has taken me years to achieve and is likely adding years to my life so I’ll have many more accomplishments ahead.
What are Your Reverse Resolutions?
I do feel empowered when I reflect on my accomplishments. Take 10 minutes to take stock of your own life today. Write down, at least, five things you’ve done this year that you can be proud of. They may be resolutions you tackled head on, or they may be happy accidents. It doesn’t matter. Own those achievements and stand a little taller as you face a new year, ready for the blessings of surprise.