I don’t have a strong feeling one way or the other about new year’s resolutions. I am (perhaps annoyingly) one of those people who sets goals and doggedly works toward them. I don’t always achieve what I set out to accomplish (mastering salsa dancing, learning to crochet, speaking fluent French), but I have started an exercise routine in January and kept it up for five years, so.
This is not about my tenacity, however. It’s about how I went to a birthday party years ago and heard a really cool woman explain how, instead of resolutions, she makes slogans. Simple things like, “TCB” (Taking Care of Business, for the two non-Elvis-fans on the planet) or “Dance My Ass Off” (for those who are better at salsa than me). The point is just to come up with a tagline for what you hope the year will bring. Something fun and punchy, but also personally motivating.
That was right before the start of 2012. That year, I made my slogan “Doin’ My Thing,” and then I did stuff that I’d wanted to do but always found excuses not to do. I applied for an received a media pass to South By Southwest, where I spent four days absorbing music and documenting it on a blog. I purchased a plane ticket to Paris and spent eight days there by myself, taking in fashion, impressionist art, wine and cemeteries.
The thing with resolutions is they’re chorelike and guilt-inducing. Spend less, eat less, exercise more, call your mother. Ugh, stop nagging me. Resolutions make me think of Lent, my knowledge of which is based on overhearing the Catholic kids in middle school talking about how you can get around it by giving up something you hate. Like broccoli or violin lessons.
Slogans, on the other hand, suggest fluttering banners and crafty logos emblazoned on bright t-shirts. They hint at teams and cheerleaders and ribbon-strung finish lines, or confetti streamers and clever chants. It’s a lot easier to get behind a good slogan, plus you’ve got THE ENTIRE YEAR to see it to fruition — and even then, it’s a theme, not a directive.
My slogan for 2016 is “Creating Momentum,” because I’ve been noticing lately how lots of small steps eventually add up to giant leaps. I have my big life goals but, because I’m busy and my days are hectic, I’m always going in a million directions. The only way to accomplish a goal is chip away at it, bit by bit. By making my mission one of momentum, I’m reminding myself that these small steps are still worthwhile and exciting, that I’m already in motion and moving toward my heart’s desire.
To you, my friends, I wish a momentous new year. I hope you feel your own motion; I hope your own hearts’ desires pull you like glittering magnets. Be well, be bold, be who you need to be.