Now is about the time we start taking notice of how our goals for the new year are going. We’ve got a month under our belt, we have a general idea of whether a goal is going to stick or not. And a month is enough time to tell whether a goal will stick. A goal such as hiking two new trails a month, which is one of my goals for 2024 — the one goal, alas, that looks like it will stick.
Goals. Intentions. Objectives.
Anything but resolutions.
At the start of any new year we look at a blank slate and ponder how best to fill it. Traditionally, we’ve referred to these slate-fillers as resolutions. And over time, the term has become burdened with negative connotations. Primarily because “resolutions” tend to be things we don’t really want to do. They’re things we think we should do. Like lose weight.
Now’s typically the time we start thinking about goals for the year ahead. We all do it. By and large, it’s a good thing. By and large, because sometimes we get locked into a particular way of thinking, a way that doesn’t always reflect our true wishes and dreams.
My latest goal: Have a Pop-Tart instant coffee breakfast in the woods before work.
As goals go, it my not be the loftiest.
Or is it?
For a good 5 years this simple ambition has been on my to-do list. Yet it remains undone. Why?
Because until now I’ve simply viewed it as “a thing to do.” A thing I really want to do, but, in the pecking order of life, simply a thing to do; it never occurred to me to elevate it to “goal” status. Goals, after all, are things you work at: a million in sales through Q2, discovering a cure for the doldrums. Showing up for work on time. Goals usually take the form of resolutions you set on New Year’s Day, like fitting into your high school Speedo by Memorial Day. Having a processed pastry and Sanka while sitting on a tree stump isn’t exactly an achievement you’d include in the Christmas newsletter.
As part of Year of the Trail, the Great Trails State Coalition, the non-profit driving the observation, has designated themes for each month. Some themes aren’t necessarily tied to the month: August, for instance, has been “health and wellness” (as opposed to “sweating”). September is another matter. Its theme?