From the Introduction
So let’s take a moment to think on this thing we call a resolution. Take a moment to think about the word itself. Resolution. The sound and feel of the word. It’s kind of a large and robust word, big and sturdy.
Think of the kind of person who could be described as resolute. They are driven, determined individuals. They are dauntless, immovable. Even bold and courageous. Relentless in their resolve. Firm in fortitude. They know the impact they want to make, so they rise up to make it happen. And nothing stands in their way without being overcome. They are resolute.
And so it is with a resolution. We would do well to stop thinking of resolutions as the mindless new year ritual they’ve become. The whole thing where we start off each barely-unwrapped-but-just- as-pre-packaged calendar with a list of cultural obligations that we already know we won’t even bother truly attempting to complete. These are not resolutions, not really. I suppose we could call them “just resolutions.” But a true resolution is never just a resolution.
A resolution is an act of congress.
That’s what you call it when an assembly of the United States Congress adopts a formal stance on a situation and then rises to make its position known. A resolution is an advance toward something more.
Now it’s true that words are flexible things. They convey different meanings depending upon the context they’re used within. And the word resolution has specialized meanings in everything from the spheres of medicine and chemistry to design clarity and music. And, yes, even an act of US Congress.
But we’re not really talking about those things, are we?
We’re talking about how determined you are to create the life you’ve been looking for. For yourself and for the whole damn world around you. One beyond just resolutions.
Real resolutions are badass. They are permanent, or at least as permanent as their usefulness lasts—until you get to the point of another larger, bolder resolution that’s designed right overtop of it. Real resolutions are the real deal. Serious business. Life transformative. Not for the weak-willed. Not for the careless lackadaisical road crew that painted those crooked lines down your residential side street.
We’re talking about the kind of resolutions you make when you’re sick of the same old year-after-every-single-year kind of life. We’re talking about the kind of resolutions that are formed in firm decisions to take action. When you’ve discovered your aim and reached the verdict. When you’ve made an inner declaration to move forward. To ditch a life of apathy, cowardice, and fear. When you’ve decided to trade a life of instability, timidity, and compliance for one of intentionality, precision, and strength. When you’ve decided to begin living on purpose.
It’s at this point when you’ve begun to awaken an ally named Resolve. And it’s here when you realize the real power to be discovered in a Resolution. A wide-eyed, fully-aware, whole-heartedly-intentional Resolution.
And it’s the kind of thing that will inscribe itself within the very fabric of your identity if you let it—that is, if you take it seriously.
Now here’s the problem with the New Year’s variety of just- resolutions. I’m sure they started off with good intentions. And no doubt there are some in the world today who continue to treat them with the seriousness they deserve. But honestly, they’ve become something of a cultural joke. Almost the definition of cliché. Like a sticky note that’s been pasted on and off so many times it just falls to the floor while you walk away.