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I used to make resolutions.

They were lofty and unattainable and I'd be done with them before the teams took the field for the third quarter of the Rose Bowl.

There's nothing wrong with resolutions - but what happens when you don't lose the number of pounds you promised or you don't get to the gym - or whatever you resolved to do?

What then?

You've failed.

It would be different if you shrugged after you ate that pint of ice cream mid way through January and started again the next morning. But many of us don't. We say, "guess I'm not on a diet", and we keep eating through December.

We need something where we don't fail. We need something where we are following a path or blazing a trail and when we wander this way or that, we shrug and get back to what we need to do.

My friend Chris participated in NaNoWriMo this year.

He tweeted how he was doing now and then. Some days he made his goal and some days he didn't.

At the end of November he didn't say, "I missed my goal - forget it."

He kept writing.

And he finished his novel.

I imagine instead that I started the new year with a resolution to write a novel.

My friends would congratulate me and I'd feel great.

Why shouldn't I? I'm a novelist!

Even though I haven't written a word.

I'd get to the end of January a couple of chapters in. Or maybe several attempts at writing that same chapter. And I'd quit.

It was so much more fun when I was a novelist who hadn't written any words than it is to be a failed-novelist with several actual chapters written.

That's odd.

So, instead of resolutions, I've been picking three words to live by for a while and I'll announce them over the next few days.

The three words address this desire to keep going and continue to make progress and share what I'm doing with you.

My plans for this year include updating my Swift book for Swift 5, producing some podcasts, writing a book on Functional Swift, and releasing some instructional videos.

That's a lot.

Will I get it done?

I don't know.

These are plans. They're intentions. They aren't promises or resolutions.

In my mind, here's the difference: I might not get any or all of them done but it won't be a failure so long as the things I did instead were more important.