I’m not the type to do resolutions, especially when the big numbers roll over, and balls descend from the skies.

Like many, I try to improve myself, and, like many, I fail. Sometimes I succeed in adopting a new habit for a respectable length of time only to discover one day that my interest and dedication has faded, and the new habit has returned to the shadows of revolutionary thought from whence it came.

Similarly, as goals often require a change in ourselves to achieve, I have lived many years with little ambition, setting my sights on nothing, mostly due to some oppresive belief that I will never get what I want. It’s a sad way to live, and I fear I am a member of a vast party of like-minded depressive, doubtful thinkers who feel optimism is for fools.

Then, as old men do, I began to reflect. Despite my undeclared objectives, I remain interested in becoming a better version of myself. I am drawn to learn, to change, to grow, and I have achieved some level of success. I have a happy, healthy family that loves me. I have a company where I make a direct impact to clients with a product I helped to create. I wrote a book.

I think of the future now, not with dreams of fame or riches, not accolades or recognition, not even with tangible goals. Those things are unimportant. Reaching the goal was never the real desire. It was setting the goal that mattered, believing that something could be done, that I could try it. That I wanted to.

We’ve all failed. We’ve all lost. So what. The things we make, the legacies we leave behind, will all fade into the black. What’s real is the joy in doing. Whether I fail or not is trivial. I want to make goals again, and, who knows, I might just reach one someday.

Writing has become a salve to my discouraged heart. I encourage all of you who wish to write, do so. If you have a story swirling inside the avenues of your mind, channel it and trap it onto the page. Set goals, not for publication or perfection, but simply to write. Do it for yourself. Even if no other soul should discover your work, you will know what you’ve done. You’ll know what you can do, and I tell you this:

It will bring you joy. It will keep you coming back for more.

Happy New Year, readers and writers everywhere.

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