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Brainpickings Gem for New Years

Famous thinkers’ self-growth resolutions? Thanks, Brainpickings!

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions. I dread being asked for my “resolution,” as for most of December and January the word conjures in my mind a memory of facebook-feeds-gone-by filled with well-meant and mostly ill-fated resolutions to go to the gym every single day. Or the sincere and enthusiastic promises to “be happy” or “be healthy” or “be” (presumably “become”) some other undefined state.

Before you ‘bah humbug’ me, know that it’s not that I think little of any of the folks whose status’ I’m thinking of…it’s that I think a lot of them. I want feelings of strength and happiness and health for each of them, and I know they can accomplish anything they set out to. But “set out” is a verb. “Accomplish” is a verb. These things require thinking about personal definitions (what does being an embodiment of happiness look like to me?) and planning, choosing, changing, metamorphosing…which I find often feels pretty magical in retrospect but feels suspiciously like work in the moment.

Honest reflections, personal goals, action plans and other such reminders to be a dynamic human being, I can dig. Pausing for a breath at the end of our calendar year, around the winter solstice, between approximate halves of the school year sounds like a really nice ritual. Setting a time to meet and write up lists of projects/goals for the next six months and talk about plans to actualize our intentions [which @ryanshollenberger gathered a group to do yesterday] sounds interesting and productive. And reading thought-prompts about ways to grow myself sounds like how I want to start my winter reflection every year.

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