Joyce Richman

It’s that time of year when positive people make well intended resolutions, so if that’s not you, set a few goals. They’re less lofty, more specific, and, if you’re really serious, they’re measurable, actionable, realistic and time bound. However, if that’s not you either, try setting objectives.

Objectives are steps toward goals and more easily defined than resolutions. They’re measurable and actionable if you’re willing to count and take action. If you don’t want to do either, don’t bother with objectives.

Instead, make a list of stuff you want to do. Don’t list stuff you don’t want to do.

However, if you know that lists aren’t for you but are for those who love to make them, rhyme them, time them, add to them and line through them, don’t make lists. Don’t make them if what you want today will be replaced tomorrow by something that won’t last long enough to make it to a list.

What’s left if not resolutions, goals, objectives or lists? The obvious: spontaneous doing. Spontaneous doing is more fun, more creative, and more instinctive than the aforementioned. And an impulse, a whim, a yen or a yearning beats resolving, goal setting, objective taking and list making, hands down.

However, if spontaneous doing requires more energy than you currently possess, there’s always spontaneous thinking. You can spontaneously think in any variety of positions, prone or upright. You can spontaneously- think about whatever occurs to you as relevant or irrelevant, needed or wasteful. The sheer freedom of spontaneous thinking is so liberating, one might want to let go of the notion of thinking and instead go with spontaneous dreaming. Akin to spontaneous thinking, spontaneous dreaming allows for more artistry and flight of fancy. Better said, spontaneous dreaming gives you permission to conjure the ridiculous while pretending to be purposeful and intentional.

All of which takes us back to the whole notion of resolution making, the original purpose being to encourage conscious acts of self- improvement; a viewpoint that suggests your flaws are so apparent, either to self or others, you really ought to fix them.

Let’s turn that on its head. Sure, you have flaws that need fixing and you should absolutely get them figured out, but now, in this new month of the New Year, celebrate the gift of radical possibility.

What will you do and how will you behave in ways that make your life better? What will you do that will add joy to your life and to those with whom you are most close? What will you say, where will you go, how will you feel, and what difference will you make when you get there?

If resolutions (and promises) are meant to be broken, why go through an exercise of futility unless you’re fully committed to a better outcome? Rather than disappoint yourself, feel good about yourself. Figure out what you really want to do because, by gosh, you’ll do it. Make it bold, make it brash, make it happen because you are worth it, because you deserve it and you deserve the feeling you get from saying at last, “I did it!”

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Contact Joyce Richman at 336-288-1799 and