The problem is, I don't usually do the thing(s) that I figure out I need to do. So then I tell myself, what I really need to work on is discipline.
But let's face it, I'm just not very good at self-discipline. I was great at being a student, and I was a decent employee, because I had that other thing called... accountability.
Somehow accountability doesn't seem like a very adult thing to need. I mean, shouldn't I just be accountable to myself and God? If I have to be accountable another human, that's kind of like making more work for them instead of just sucking it up and doing it myself. (Discussion on accountability to husband another day.)
Well, this year I didn't want to set another resolution that involved doing more, imposing self-discipline, or searching for accountability, all things I've failed at year after year after year.
I finally realized that I don't need to do more. I need to do less. The word I was searching for was not discipline; it was limits.
I like rules, and I like them to be followed. Unfortunately, giving yourself a rule of "do everything to the nth degree" isn't an easy rule to follow, and you will most likely fail. It's actually much easier to succeed at not crossing a certain threshold, by setting a limit. It gives you somewhere to stop rather than somewhere to aim. This gives me a sense of control, which, for better or worse, is something that appeals to me.
So this year is about limits. Spending. Indulging (think chocolate). Committing. Worrying. Reading, writing, watching, waiting. Obsessing.
It's time to set some limits for myself, to give myself a point at which it's okay - best, even - to stop. In setting these limits, I know I'll have times I'll fail, but I also know I'll have times I'll succeed. And that was something that rarely, or maybe never, happened when I set goals I could not achieve.
Have you set any limits for yourself this year? Instead of always trying to do more, maybe it's time to hold back, to rein it in a little, to give yourself a chance to succeed.
On an almost completely unrelated side note, I even liked limits in calculus, once I really, really figured out what they meant instead of just memorizing how to do them. In case you hated calculus, the trick is actually taking it twice and then teaching it. That's when it really clicks. Here's the song my high school calculus teacher played for us on the first day of class.