Resolve to Do What Is Hard

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After discussing our triumphs of 2013 at dinner today, we then discussed what we hope to achieve in 2014.

My son wants to finish up his Eagle project — get those last two merit badges and become an Eagle Scout.  My daughter wants to write the first draft of a book, my husband too. I pulled out my handy “I'm going to run a marathon in 2014.”  Running a marathon is an acceptable resolution, right up there with losing weight.

Today though during the meeting of Relief Society, the philanthropic and educational organization for the women in my church, we discussed resolutions that involve becoming, rather than doing.

The lion's share of women indicated they want to become more kind, generous, loving.  Were they described as such, they would die happy women. (Amazingly they are already supremely kind! But I digress.) Like them, I have set goals that will help me become kinder.

But there's a resolution I don't want to make.

I want to be more accountable.  And, no matter how difficult, I need to require those in my charge to do the same.

Definitely NOT one of the 10 most popular resolutions.

abacus textile

Abacus Textile by Paul Rand

Holding others accountable is grown up, hard even. Courage hard.

When I remind a colleague or sub-contractor that they aren't meeting deadlines, or my children to take out the garbage, unlike the marathon, no one will be cheering me on.

It's even more difficult to be answerable to myself.

When I say I'll be somewhere at 11am, I need to arrive on time. Not ten minutes late.

If I accept an invitation to go somewhere, I need to go.  If I say yes without counting what it will cost me to actually go, and cancel at the last minute, I need to learn to count.  Yes needs to really mean yes.  Same with project deadlines.

Not popular at all, says my self-indulgent self.

And yet, when we hold our charges accountable, aren't we helping them gain the resolve to do? Am I not making it easier for them to run a marathon — or lose weight?

In 2014,  I resolve to be more accountable.

It's one of the most generous things I could do.

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