Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Idea of Resolutions

I've never been big on New Year's resolutions… For some reason, I was never really capable of following through in the long run on things… I don't know why, but I seem to have a problem trying to stick to a goal and not be distracted by other things. I think I suffer from "Shiney Syndrome": as in "Ooo, look, something else to occupy my attention!"

As a result, I've sort of drifted from project to project in rapid succession. I don't know if that's a result of my generation and it's propensity toward slacker habits, or whether it's simply that I've never had to truly be my own boss. I've always participated in projects that involved other people, so my ability to slip into laziness or procrastination was not an option. That happens when you experience theatre--the ultimate "collaborative art".

So being on my own has presented a whole slew of challenges that I'm not really used to… And I don't have much of an excuse, really. My heritage is full of self-motivated farmers and teachers that had to live their lives by their own guidance and set goals for themselves just to put food on the table. They were men and women of long-term results that yielded their fruits on a yearly basis--harvesting crops and instilling knowledge through a yearly schedule that demanded results to move on to the next level. If they could do it, I should be able to.

So I find myself in a situation where I am setting my own goals and having to provide my own backbone to get things done. And it's a challenge. I find myself constantly being distracted by modern technology and it's wonders--the computer and television, specifically. There is always that one more Facebook post to read, or that Youtube video to watch. There is the wonder of computer gaming that doesn't really result in much but a catalog of wasted time in levels accrued and keyboard fingering that becomes muscle memory.

And I don't know why it is so compelling that there's almost a tangible sensation of loss when I don't indulge! There's a real feeling of withdrawal that happens when I don't log in to my computerized social contacts! Ultimately, I end up spending too much time with my butt in a chair staring at a computer screen, or make that couch depression just a tad bit deeper as I watch the same movie over and over again.

My grandparents and their kin didn't have to deal with that. It seems to me that their social world was much smaller. In contrast, I have hundreds of friends and acquaintances from my past that are a keystroke away all they way back to grade school. I have a blog that I write. I have several "gaming personas" in a computerized world that only tangentially relates to reality. I can instantly connect and discuss ideas with collaborative partners on projects that I'm involved in.

But I'm not sure all this technology is making my life easier or if it's complicating it. At what point is it manipulating me instead of me using it?

So all this has been going through my mind at the beginning of this new year as I've sat down and contemplated goals and aspirations for my immediate future. I've made a list of resolutions. And I've realized that I have to engage in them truthfully and wholeheartedly if I wish for them to come to fruition.

And that's hard. I hope it's not an indication of how much I care about them, or that I'm (at heart) actually a lazy person. And ultimately, I recognize a slight pessimism toward the idea of setting goals that threatens to expunge any forward momentum at all…

So I've been looking for a "switch" to flick. A dial to turn that increases my attentiveness. And perhaps I'm realizing that it's not something on the outside that's going to do it for me, it has to come from the inside. I have to overcome my "Shiney Syndrome", and take things one step at a time. Small bites. If I can take one day at a time, and not dwell on the big picture too much, then perhaps I can accomplish something big in the end. This is long term, not a sprint to the finish line.

And I think it starts with tiny things.

Any one else have this problem? : )

Next time, I outline the resolutions I've made. Care to share yours, or point me toward where you've posted them?

Until next time, Live Life with Relish!


  1. You know Kiddo,

    It's not just you who struggles with the marvels of modern technology. I think we all do to a certain extent. But I'm thinking that you have also stumbled onto one of the few routes to success. "take things one step at a time. Small bites. If I can take one day at a time, and not dwell on the big picture too much,"

    I have found that this little secret is the only way to summit the "mole hill" Set an attainable goal for the day first then maybe the week. Work on one at a time. Maybe start with not turning on the distractions until a certain hour, or first having to spend x amount of hours (really)working in the studio. Set it up in your mind so that visiting cyberworld becomes the reward for accomplishing your task, or goal.

    One thing we adults tend to forget is if you are going to take something away, you have to replace it with something else. If the TV is on during the day while you are "working" going cold turkey by pitching yourself into the "cone of silence" is pretty much a guarantee to failure. Maybe replace the devil TV with music shun the videos :) or books on CD.

    Once you have your little routines set up and put into practice. Learn to be patient with yourself. If things didn't go so well today spend a minute reviewing what went wrong and how to alter things to the better. THEN spend twice as long reviewing the things that did go well. Even if it's just one little piece of positive. Take pride in the fact that you did it. Pat yourself on the back and be proud of your accomplishment(s). Take the phrase "yeah but" out of your vocabulary.

    Celebrate the positive. You don't have time to dwell on the negatives. You have way to many things you want to accomplish to waste time wallowing there. And lastly learn to really believe, and live with the concept that dwelling on the past is a total waste of time "what is done is done". Worrying about the future is just as big of a waste of time.The future will be the present in due time, deal with it then. Live in the present because it is the only part of time you can change.

    As for my goals for the year: I think I will concentrate on making a mess of lovely memories:)If our memories are the only thing we can take with us I want a whole heaping houseful of wonderful,sunny ones! :)

    Pattie ;)
    Mazatlan Mx.

  2. Ohhh, Pattie, I think you nailed it. That is exactly the advice I needed. I had never thought about "replacing" my little addictions with something else... Wow! That's so simple!! I've never realized that!

    I think my list of resolutions will accompany a plan to provide substitutions for my indulgences... And celebrating the positive is something I have to remember--as long as I don't make it an excuse to not step up toward the next project... I can celebrate with the best of them! LOL! I'm dangerous that way! LOL!

    I think I need to catalog my accomplishments a bit more. And that could be fun.

    Thanks, Pattie! Brilliant ideas!!!


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