January 2, 2013


We see and here a lot about New Year's resolutions this time of year. People make them and question their utility at the same time, defeating themselves before they begin. This is not surprising. Specific goals are hard to meet; all but that outcome will feel a failure. And non specific goals are hard to chase; how do you plot a course without a destination?

And yet we continue. We continue to give voice to our desires, to put in words our hopes for what we can become. We do this so that we might be held accountable, both by ourselves and others. Once a thing is stated, it is made real. And then it cannot be unmade. The venture will either succeed or fail; but in either case, it will be.

I have to say that I like that sentiment. What I don't like is that it's relegated to the beginning of each year. The utility of such things extends to every day, not merely those that mark the successful circumnavigation of the sun.

"We are what we repeatedly do," said Aristotle. "Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

And so it is that every day we make resolutions, decisions that craft the narrative of our lives. We become what we do.

All of that having been said, my resolutions for 2013 are the same as they were for 2012: I want to read great things, to make great coffee, and to run well. But those are the things you do every day anyway, one might protest. To that I would simply say: Precisely.

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