From Merriam-Webster Online:
res-o-lu-tion 3a: something that is resolved (made a resolution to mend my ways)
re-solve 4a: to deal with successfully : clear up (resolve doubts) (resolve a dispute) b: to find an answer to c: to make clear or understandable
If we had a moment of
Radical Honesty while stumbling through our list of Resolutions, we'd crumble under the weight of our own bull-shnit. Why? Because a real "resolution" requires a total deconstruction of the original fluff. Take these typical resolutions, which appear on the Top Ten New Year's Resolutions:
Work Out/Lose Weight
As far as New Year's Resolutions go, this is probably the King of the Hill. Although it sounds great on paper, what does it "resolve?" A true resolution with weight loss in mind would deconstruct the problem into smaller and meaningful bits.
Why do you weigh a metric ton? What excuses did you make all year (and all ten years prior) to avoid losing weight? Was it hamburgers or the stress of a lousy marriage? What are you willing to do about those things to make exercise and weight loss work for you?
Spend More Time with the Family
Well why can't you be found within 10 square miles of them now? Why do you run from them like The Fugutive? Do you work too much? If so, why are you a workaholic? Is it fear of being poor or you can't stand the noise associated with family time? What are you willing to do about those things to make family time work?
Why do you always look like your head's on fire? Are you stressed or self medicating another issue? What are you willing to do about those things to help you quit smoking?
I think you get the point.
So this year, my New Year's Resolutions come in the form of a categorized 5-Year plan, broken into annual chunks, that deconstruct my goals through meaningful analysis - much like the Frugal Zeitgeist shares here. And I just love Frugal Z for giving me one word to keep my goals on track: S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-constrained).
To add some meat to this exercise, I want to complete one of the best deconstruction exercises I've seen in a while: The Great Assessment courtesy of Ladylee. So what that she stole it from somebody else. At least they're friends, and she gave some throwback credits in her post.
Anyway, The Great Assessment is really a batch of simple questions that don't have simple answers. In fact, some may take days to answer - either because you're not ready to be honest or because you never considered the issues. If you avoid the answers that "sound good" or "reflect who you want to be as opposed to who you really are," I conclude that some r-e-a-l resolutions are coming your way.
I may share my answers on this blog to make myself accountable for the hard work of deconstructing issues with honesty. I suspect some will be too private for y'alls virgin eyes. Without further ado, here is the list of questions:
:: Who are you?
:: Do you like who you are?
:: Who do you want to be, what is it that you must change?
:: What do you stand for?
:: What is your passion?
:: Who are the people that you love?
:: Do the people you love, love you?
:: Why/why not?
:: When people know you, do they really know you?
:: Is the place that you rest your head, your “home”?
:: If not where is “home” and do you want to be there?
:: If so, why are you not there?
:: When you wake up, do you go to the job that you really want to do?
:: If not, what are you doing to change that?
:: Is your family close to your heart?
:: If not why?
:: Who do you love?
:: Can you love them better?
:: If you can love them better, why don’t you?
:: Do they love you?
:: Can they love you better?
:: What do you want?
:: How will you get it?
:: What is important to you?
:: Who do you fight with?
:: Why do you fight with them?
:: What do you need?
:: What do you want?
:: Why don't you have it?
:: Are you happy or are you sad?
:: Are you smiling or are you crying?
:: What will make you better tomorrow than you are today?
I wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a
Productive and Prosperous New Year, complete with real resolutions that guide you along the way.