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Goals, Resolutions… Excuse Me While I Yawn

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Oh, it’s that time of the year. Left and right people are blogging, tweeting, facebooking, friendfeeding, their lofty goals for 2009 and all their resolutions to Get in Shape, Lose Weight, Get Organized, Do Something Charitable, Clean My Inbox etc..

Will sees value on blogging less. Beth offers great detail to address 3 broad goals. George reflects on going for more depth. Barbara eloquently looks for her way and meaning.

All these folks getting serious, aiming to be a true Slow Blogger.

Well, not here at CogDogBlog- we are dedicated to lots of shallowness, silliness, and fast as possible blogging.

I don’t begrudge people making goals, plans, etc as things to aim for. But we should do it all the time. This post holiday loftiness, fueled by extra helpings of turkey and fruitcake, appears to this dog as sucker bet, a set up to end up depressed when one lands short.

flickr cc licensed photo by Old Sarge

There is some incentive for making your goals public as then there is an extra incentive to reach it, as who wants to be seen in public as failing? But that makes the reason for achieving it–to me– cheaper. You should want to achieve goals because they are important to you, not to keep your public (ego) reputation in tact.

I have a different strategy that has worked (once)- I call it the secret resolution. Make a goal or two, scribble it on a piece of paper, and stuff it in the back of your sock drawer. The goal is only between you and it. No shame in failing and only pride in succeeding. Make a pact with yourself.

Mine happened in January 2005. I whispered to myself in the back of my mind, “I’d like to say I accomplished running a half-marathon before the end of the year” which was silly as I do hate running, and have never gone more than 3 miles in my life. I ended up doing a half-marathon in January 2006, then another in March, the following year, and a year ago managed to run my first (and likely last) full one. I did this for my own sake, my health, state of mind.

Again, there is everything right about making goals, achieving them, but doing so just because it is the first of the year seems like a set up for disappointment.

So I resolve not to make any resolutions, besides hoisting a banner for the movement of Fast Silly Shallow Blogging.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Too funny! I just published a similar post and saw your Tweet. I don’t even bother with resolutions PERIOD (secret or otherwise)! This year I’m focusing on accomplishments — I’m looking forward to a stress-free, guiltless 2009!

  2. I rather figured you wouldn’t have much use for my post, but it ain’t about resolutions. I’m always posting about trying to find my way. And I don’t have any problem with failure. What’s wrong with failure?

    That aside, I’m glad for the Fast Silly Shallow Bloggers. You put the droning-on-and-on-and-on bloggers such as me squarely in our places as I knew you would.

  3. Hmmm…i do agree with you to an extent but i also think there is value in letting other people know about your goals because it can inspire people to set goals of their own and when you achieve your goal, praise from your friends can inspire you to continue forward. However, I think we should all aspire to be better than we are on a daily bases and not just once a year.

  4. @Barbara Ganley: Correct that your post had not much to do with resolutions. But that’s what happens with FSSB- you spray all kinds of mistaken trackbacks. Apologies are easier than getting your facts right, eh?

    Fail On.

  5. I once vowed to finish a marathon. Seriously under-prepared and secretly dreading failure, I was delighted to see that the name had changed to Snickers and I was off the hook :-)

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