Reflections on Resolutions for 2020

December 27, 2019

By Zadra Rose Ibañez, IEA Director of Operations

As we near the end of the year, I have been thinking about New Year Resolutions.

I was recently reading an old journal of mine and saw a list of tasks I wanted to accomplish before year end. Because the page wasn’t dated, I didn’t know what year the list was from.  The tasks ranged from “groceries/laundry” to “redesign shelving in guest room.”  This list could have been from today, as many of the items on the list are my current “to-dos.”  It reiterated for me the cyclical nature of our lives, (wash, rinse, repeat) and how we can get mired in the minutiae, if we don’t stop to focus on the big picture.

Julia Cameron wrote in The Artist’s Way that the journey to the mountain top is a spiral.  She explained that, at any point you will see a similar view, but not the same view as you see on the spiral level below you.

Because progress has been made.

Even though the tasks, chores and goals seem like the same tasks, chores and goals as last year, WE are different WEs.

That list I initially mentioned turned out to be from 2017.  I only pieced it together because it said, “file 2017 taxes,” but the other goals were very similar to what I have charted out for myself for 2020. 

So this year, rather than creating a checklist of tasks to accomplish, I am choosing to focus on less quantifiable and more qualitative resolutions.

*I am compassionate

*I am brave

*I am healthy

I confess, this shift was partly inspired by Karamo Brown of “Queer Eye”, but also by the sense that ticking boxes in the “done” column doesn’t necessarily lead me to a sense of pride or self-fulfillment.  If the goals I’m achieving aren’t directly resulting in a sense of peace and accomplishment, then perhaps they are not the most useful goals.

Karamo was helping a guest create a vision board and he shared, “The only thing [the previous vision board] was doing every day was reminding you that you didn’t accomplish something.  The new vision board is going to include who you ARE.  When you work on BEING, all those other things are just going to work.”

Yes, laundry has to get done, but will I actually feel like I’ve grown as a person if my resolution of “I do laundry every Sunday in 2020” gets completed? Will it matter if I don’t do laundry every Sunday?  Personally, I don’t think so. Goals should help you move the needle from where you are to where you can be, with a sense of joy and purpose, not dread and duty.  Perhaps a stronger goal would be, “I am calm and clear-headed, and my home is a reflection of my inner peace.”

After setting resolutions that inspire you, then tasks can be created to help keep you on track, and in alignment with those resolutions, as we move farther up the spiral of experience.  This year, rather than creating a potential list of all the things we failed at or didn’t get done, let’s create goals that are fun to reach for and that will help us feel like better people at the end of the year.

I can’t wait to see who we become in 2020.



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