Posted by Sooz on Sunday, January 1, 2012 | 5 Comments

Res.o.lu.tion    noun:  1. A firm decision to do or not to do something.

The history of New Year’s resolutions goes back to before the birth of Christ.  Janus, a mythical king of Rome, took first place on the Roman calendar.  He was the god of beginnings and transitions. He was also the keeper of gates, doors, and entrances; the overseer of beginnings, endings, and time.  Roman tradition held that he had his eyes on both the past and the future, so he was often portrayed as a two faced man – one face pointing forward and one looking back.

Janus became the ancient symbol of resolutions.  At the beginning of the year, Romans sought forgiveness from their enemies, and they gave gifts to each other like branches from a sacred tree, nuts, and coins on which the image of Janus was engraved. Over time the celebration began to focus on resolutions regarding the future. People began to declare those decisions and the modern tradition of New Year’s Resolutions was born.

Funny thing about resolutions is we seldom manage to keep them.  A well intentioned declaration just doesn’t hold the power to change us. I think much of that has to do with the fact that we don’t dig deep enough into our hearts to really anchor the decisions we make. To climb a mountain, you have to be able to safely anchor yourself along the way. You have to know what you want to accomplish and how – not just have a desire for the outcome.  A plan for success can be made easily enough, but you have to know what it is you really want – at the core of yourself – to be able to succeed. You also have to value yourself enough to believe you are worth whatever it takes. You must know and cherish your own heart.

Recently, we came to know a young woman who shares the vision and heart of SaveGoodness.com.  Her name is Emily Verrill Ballard, and she is one of our founding members.  We are taken with her thoughtful and creative spirit. She has a personal blog which is inspirational and beautifully written.  Not long ago, she considered again some desires and wants of 10 years prior. We thought her reflections were very valuable and wanted to share them with you.

Here is an excerpt from, “A found lesson, amid the mess” – November 13, 2011 from her blog, {Fall Apart Back Together}    www.fallapartbacktogether.blogspot.com.

As you read, consider what it is that you really want.

Despite some obvious clichés, I am astounded by how little has changed, how much I still want the same things.

  • I want to be kind. I want to be understood, and I want to understand. I want to listen. I want to care. I want to laugh, and I want to be able to take a joke.
  • I want to be healthy. I want to free myself of guilt -  take responsibility for my choices. I want to make clear decisions.
  • I want the action to be the goal, not the praise. I want to think before I speak.
  • I want to study. I want a space to learn, one full of supplies and inspiration. I want to fill it with useful things that make me feel creative. I want to read more.
  • I want to accept each person as their own self. I want to be forgiving, less presumptuous and judgmental.
  • I want to appreciate being where I am.
  • I want to be interesting – to myself mostly – but also to others. I want to acquire tattoos that burst with dimension and truth.
  • I want to send people letters just because.
  • I want to create The Loaf Lady – anonymously dropped-off loaves of bread, wrapped in cloth napkins.
  • I want to get and give support. I want to stand on my own.
  • I don’t want to interrupt people. I don’t want to say ”should”. I want to avoid sarcasm that bites. I want to look people in the eye.
  • I want to look at meal preparation as a joyful process.
  • I want to remember that something is important to everyone, even if it isn’t to me. I want to find the good in things, the thing that makes something loved and appreciated.
  • I want to enjoy the quiet and not speak unless I have something to say. I want to give myself permission to remove myself from a situation.
  • I want to be able to withstand criticism bravely and non-defensively.
  • I want to do as I believe.
  • I want to listen to my gut. I want to admit when I’m wrong. I want to apologize when necessary. I want to remember that others’ problems are not my fault. I want to avoid giving un-asked-for advice.
  • I don’t ever want to think I’ve gotten there.
  • I want to keep thinking. I want to remember that I don’t know much – I shouldn’t act like I do.
  • I want to remember that loving is the most important thing, hating the least.
  • I want to appreciate what I have and think less about what I don’t. I want to realize in the same thought that I have all the time I need, and that I don’t.
  • I want to be open to others’ opinions without losing sight of my own. I want to speak in even tones.
  • I don’t want to need to know everything; I want to be less nosy.
  • I want to accept that I’ll never please everyone.
  • I want to possess things that I love and find beautiful.
  • I don’t want disagreements or bumps to cause me to forget how I really want to be; I don’t want to easily forget where I’m trying to stay or go.”

Emily took a look at her own heart. Emily thoughtfully wrote down what she wanted. Emily let the best part of herself speak, and she was brave enough to share what she heard. Emily inspires me to do the same. We rarely, if ever, ask our hearts what they really want – rarely, if ever, do we seek out our soul’s desires.

To make any resolution stick, we have to know our own heart. We have to know what our core beliefs and desires are. We have to be truthful with ourselves. From this place we can make an honest plan for change; we can create a strategy for success. It may take some time, but we can begin the assent. Our hearts are the anchors that keep us. Test your anchor and see if it is true. If not, let Goodness lead you to a better place. On the cusp of this New Year, let me remind you that 2012 is yours to create. What does your heart want?

A “Good” Idea:

Take a few moments and write down the things that your heart truly longs for. Share it with someone who will help you be true to yourself.

Don’t forget to stop by Emily’s blog and say “Hi” to a fellow Goodness Girl!

{Fall Apart Back Together} www.fallapartbacktogether.blogspot.com

5 Responses

  1. Sharyn Auzinger says:

    The Loaf Lady! I love that! What a great list.

  2. Debbie says:

    I LOVE THIS! Thank you Emily!!

  3. Meri Lee says:

    How beautiful Emily! The voice of your heart is truly inspiring!

  4. Emily says:

    Thank you so very much. I can’t fully tell you how special this connection has been for me – it’s just thrilling to be sharing thoughts and ideas with such a wide and inspired group of people.

    Warmest wishes for the future!

  5. Sue M says:

    I love the Loaf Lady too! I think I’d be more of a mystery cookie dropper…

Leave a Reply