The Follow-Through…

Ah…another new year.

I woke up this morning with a revelation about resolutions.    You see, apparently (just prior to consciousness) my unconscious mind was busy working out the kinks in my list of New Year’s resolutions.  The “asleep” part of me was desperately trying to help my “waking self” avoid the pitfalls of resolutions gone bad.

And so, whilst I contemplated getting out of my warm, cozy bed to write, it occurred to me that I approach the composition of New Year’s resolutions in much the same way as a child who sits on Santa’s lap with a well-rehearsed Christmas list in hand (or at least in her head).  Now, we all know what goes into the careful execution of a properly communicated Christmas list.  You ensure that Santa knows what you want and then on Christmas morning you wake up and – poof – the contents of your list (at least one thing) is nicely wrapped up under the tree.  Why is it that I seem to apply the same methodology to New Year’s Resolutions?  Really.  Year after year I make my list and then…well, we all know how the story ends.  I know, I know…it’s all in the follow-through.

Ah…follow-through!  Cause and effect.

Out of respect for my hard-working unconscious waking thoughts, this year I’m going to try something novel (pun intended).  For example, instead of listing “publish my novel” as a resolution (and then hoping and wishing and praying it will happen), I’m going to apply the principle of causality.  I will begin with the action that I hope (with a little luck and a lot of dedication and will power) will produce a certain response in the form of another event…my completed resolution!   See below.


Action:  Work my patooty off and write like the mad woman I know I am.

Response to the Action:  Finish my novel.

Resulting Event:  Publish my novel by years’ end.


Muse:  Really?  You’ve just figured this out?  And you actually expect to publish a novel?

Ms. D:  Is there another Muse out there?  A nicer Muse?

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