Skip New Year’s Resolutions

We have the habit of thinking that at the beginning of each year we will somehow magically develop the discipline to do the things we know we should be doing.  By February 1, most are forgotten.

I believe a more effective plan is to create a “game worth playing” by identifying one big goal or purpose that has the potential to stir up our energies.  Make it big enough that it requires a commitment to focus our attention over time.  It needs to have “juice” for us so we don’t lose interest when the going gets tough–and it will.  No goal worth pursuing is handed to us on a silver platter.

Then decide on small steps that can be taken each day to get us a bit closer to that goal.  For example, hiking the Grand Canyon is a goal that requires physical training to achieve.  Losing 20 pounds is not a goal–but perhaps a means to get fit in order to hike the Grand Canyon.

In our Third Chapter of Life, it is critical that we develop goals and purpose to help us organize our days.  Research shows that this will increase physical and mental well-being.

Have a happy and purposeful New Year!

I Will Not Die an Unlived Life

I enjoyed poetry in my youth–especially in college as an English major. Then I got busy with the serious business of life–working hard, trying to keep up with the many demands of daily living.

Then I attended the retreat on Conscious Eldering and I was drawn back into the world of poetry which feels to me like a “heart massage.” One poem that I love is by Donna Markova titled, “I Will Not Die an Unlived Life.”

I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart

until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.

This poem would have appealed to my youthful idealism years ago. Now is appeals even more as I embark on my Third Chapter. Now is my chance to be sure the blossoms go on as fruit.