"But you break resolutions." This was my six year-old's response when I reminded him of his New Year's Resolution. He'd just learned the concept of a resolution on New Year's Eve, and yet he already knew that most resolutions don't last past the first week of January.
But why don't they last? I think it's because they are more wishes than resolutions. I resolve to lose weight is perhaps the most common resolution of Americans. And our intentions are good. We can see that healthy version of ourselves, maybe playing tennis in a cute matching tennis outfit, or hiking the Knife Edge on Mount Katahdin (once again, perfectly attired -- perhaps I am revealing a bit too much of myself here). It is unliklely that we imagine ourselves eating less food than we currently do, passing up that second glass of wine, or sweating on the eliptical machine. Maybe for a moment, but our mind doesn't linger there. It focuses on the outcome.
This ability to imagine a different future is distinctly human, and what allows for innovation and creativity. Writers depend upon it. As writers, we create the world as we want it for our stories. We manage the characters, the settings, the plot twists. We make our vision a reality.
So maybe this year, instead of throwing a resolution into the winds and hoping some magic makes it real, perhaps we should approach our resolutions as we do our stories. We must not imagine only the end, but the steps it takes to get there. Just as a writer can't sit around waiting for a muse, so a resolver can't sit around waiting for the change they desire.
On that note, I am off to tackle this situation known as my desk.