Personal Post: when the new year means grace over goals

In my twenties I spent every new year setting elaborate resolutions. There were categories for the resolutions (adventures, skills, business achievements, etc) and every goal had to be set in measurable terms. I would write them down and exchange them with friends so we could keep each other accountable. [Type A? Who, me?] Every year was going to be my year. I was going to “hustle”, and “crush it”, and through the magic of goal-setting I was going to miraculously transform into my best self, finally reaching my greatest potential. Every year.

Then came 2016, and it was hard. There were many small challenges, but mostly, I spent the year coping with the miscarriage we experienced in spring. I was devastated. Never had I invested so much hope, and experienced such great loss. It was 12 months of just trying to keep my head above water. So when 2016 ended and it was time to write my 2017 resolutions, I came up dry. I didn’t want to jot down how many books I was going to read, or elaborate on a skill I was going to learn. I didn’t want to set arduous business goals or demand some new level of personal growth. I couldn’t get myself to write a single resolution because I spent 2016 learning how little control I have over the most important things.

I think sometimes we set resolutions – new year’s, or otherwise – believing we can bend the universe to our silly, human will. And as an introvert, I get it. There is nothing I want more than a great plan which falls into place as designed. But while we’re busy trying to figure out how to do more and be better, we ignore the grace that comes with understanding we can only work for so much. It’s goal-setting season again, and although I’m not casting resolutions aside as humanistic hogwash, I am examining my ambitions more carefully. There will be plenty of good and plenty of bad in my life, and I feel certain that the biggest of each will not be mine to choose.

So cheers to the year that brought us our beautiful baby girl, a blessing beyond measure. We are one year wiser, two months sleepier, and incredibly grateful for both goals to achieve and gifts that were never made to be earned.

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Top photo by Riverland Studios. Middle photo by KL Creative.

6 Comments on Personal Post: when the new year means grace over goals

  1. Maggie
    January 2, 2018 at 5:16 pm (10 months ago)

    Beautiful and wise

    Reply
  2. Lori
    January 2, 2018 at 11:20 pm (10 months ago)

    What wise, thoughtful, beautiful words and a wonderful way to look at the NEW Year and resolutions!!

    Reply
  3. Tiffany Perez Ferrando
    January 4, 2018 at 5:35 am (10 months ago)

    Thank you, Kasey. Your writing lingers beautifully… compelling and comforting.

    Moving up the career ladder, filling days productively, stretching ourselves and our loved ones to reach that (always elusive!) potential, and taking strategic actions to achieve goals are what we Americans do best. But, unfortunately, so are high rates of heart attack, gun violence, mental illness, etc. But despite a deep awareness, having directly experienced some of these correlations, I can’t seem to break out of this wreck less, success-driven cultural choke hold.

    But of course it was grace I was missing… cast off yet nearby all along. Grace honors nuance. It welcomes the shadows of cultural norms and social values instilled from birth as they stretch and shrink to accommodate changing perspectives. Nurturing relationships can top my to-do lists. Wandering and wondering can be part of my strategic plan. With grace more things are possible.

    Reply
    • Kasey Hock
      January 11, 2018 at 12:12 am (9 months ago)

      Thanks, Tiffany! I love everything you wrote! I know exactly what you mean. Awareness doesn’t mean transformation, and that’s what we crave – and instant adaptation. A little grace can go a long way.

      Reply
  4. Jen Berres
    January 4, 2018 at 7:26 pm (10 months ago)

    This snippet was heartfelt Kasey! I am really sorry to hear about your miscarriage. Love you, your beautiful spirit, and your new baby girl! Sending many blessings to you! <3

    Reply
    • Kasey Hock
      January 11, 2018 at 12:09 am (9 months ago)

      Thank you, Jen! Love and blessings to you as well!

      Reply

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