I’ve never been much for New Year’s resolutions. Unless, of course, the resolution reads something like this:
I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to accommodate the other side’s point of view. Goals are good, right? In my ambivalence, I’ve even written my own lackluster set of New Year’sResolved: To Never Make Another New Year’s Resolution.
But just as I mentioned on the eve of making those resolutions last year, I can’t help but stop and recall some sage advice from an ancient book:
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.
Believe me, I certainly had no idea, at the middle of last month, what “Tomorrow” had in store for me—for my family—with the arrival of one brief phone call. How can I make a year’s goals for family history research when I can’t even comprehend what a family emergency can do to my notions about one simple twenty-four hour period?
On the other hand, I don’t mean to discourage the organized approach to setting reasonable—and laudable—goals. I received one article today which is noteworthy in that regard, and I’d like to pass it along.
The article, by Jeremy Miller of Toronto’s Sticky Branding consultancy, speaks to that very issue of New Year’s Resolutions. As he puts it, resolutions are a marathon, not a sprint.
Taking his cue from the running world, Jeremy Miller advises, “Start slow, finish fast.” He provides a running strategy to get you from the starting line to the finish line in your upcoming year, with the operative word being, finish.
Finish: I like that. There is nothing more frustrating—and downright demoralizing—than starting out, saying, “I’m going to…” and then never getting it done.
If you are thinking like me on this aspect of resolutions, I’d encourage you to head to Sticky Branding’s blog and read the post for yourself. Whether you apply his concepts to business applications, as Jeremy Miller does, or to your own projects in genealogical research—or any other endeavor—these are wise words to tape to your bathroom mirror and digitally inscribe on the top of each calendar page.
This balancing act called Time Management is truly a challenge. In any given year, we all get the same amount of stuff that Time is made of, and it’s up to us to be resourceful in how we use it. Yet, none of us knows what is in store for us in that next Tomorrow. No matter how well we prepare and plan, all we can answer for is what we’ve accomplished Today. Yet, while we do not know what will happen tomorrow, we certainly must do what we can to convert that future unknown into present.accomplishments. The balancing act is to grab each Tomorrow and do our best to make the wishes and dreams of its To-Do List the finished check list of another Today.
If you can do that for a whole year’s Resolutions, more power to you.