Autmnal Resolutions

Leaves change, pumpkins pop out of patches, and the world starts anew.

By Elizabeth Cutright
© 2012 The Daily Creative Writer


“Each year I resolve to believe there will be possibilities. Every year I resolve to be a little less the me I know and leave a little room for the me I could be.  Every year I make a note not to feel left behind by my friends and family who have managed to change far more than I.” Playwright Wendy Wasserstein


Oh those New Year’s resolutions.  You know them well.  You’ve probably crafted a few yourself.  You probably promised to eat better, get more exercise, maybe finish a book or run a marathon.  Then fall comes along and you realize time’s sand is racing out of that hourglass, and the checkmarks on your resolution list are pretty slim.


“It seems to me that January resolutions are about will; September resolutions are about authentic wants,” writes Sarah Ban Breathnach in Simple Abundance.


So what do you want?


Like most of you out there in the cyber-wilderness, I have a day job.  And with that day job comes an intimidating, strong-willed superior who can be difficult to talk to.  One of his “go-to” questions – the one that puts me on the spot more than any other – is “what do you want?”  Another variation, “what can I do to help you complete your task,” is not much better.  There’s always that trepidation – is this a trick question? – and that desire to say the first thing that pops into your head (“I’m so glad you asked.  What I want is a raise, an extra week’s worth of vacation time, and the ability to make my own schedule).   It’s stressful position to be thrust into, because you know that the real question involves a subtle probing into what you might be doing wrong.  What you might be failing to understand about the situation at hand.


But just because your boss is subverting the question does not diminish the value of the query.


What do you want?


Here are some sample questions to get at the heart of your needs and desires:

What do you want more or less of in your life?

What can help you love the life you’re leading?

What opportunities are you saying to “no” to that deserve a “yes” instead?

What routines can you shake up?

What would a perfect day look like?  A perfect morning? A perfect afternoon?  A perfect evening?

If you could change one thing about your life, work or home, what would it be?

Why haven’t you changed it? What is standing in the way?


I’ve already written a bit about my love of autumn, and this idea of autumnal resolutions only adds esteem.  The idea of starting fresh this time of year is already instinctive – after years and years of new pencils, new folders and first-day-of-school outfits, using September as a start, or restart, date should be second nature.  And the best part is – no one else need know that you’re committing (or recommitting) to a whole new set of goals and resolutions.


“The beauty of autumnal resolutions,” writes Ban Breathnach, “is that no one else knows we’re making them.  Autumnal resolutions don’t require horns, confetti, and champagne.  September resolutions ask only that we be open to positive change.  I can try to do that. So can you.”
All Content is the sole Property of Elizabeth Cutright and The Daily Creative Writer, if you are reading this blog on another site, it has been reposted without the author’s permission and is in violation of the DMCA. © 2012 The Daily Creative Writer

8 thoughts on “Autmnal Resolutions

  1. A little tangential to your post but one thing to remember about your boss’ query: rather than being a subtle or tricky probe, it is much more likely he just doesn’t have much to offer. This is a classic way to sound engaged without really knowing what is going on. By the time managers rise to CEO level, they have all sorts of techniques to keep folks off guard and make it look like they are on top of things (deep dives on irrelevant information is a favorite one: they can always keep digging until you have to admit you don’t know and then tell you to go figure it out.)

    You’re “What do you need?” sounds to me (and I am a manager) as just the sort of thing to ask someone when you don’t really know what they are doing or don’t have any concerns.

    On the main point of the post, very nice and always a good reminder. And fall is my favorite season as well and that’s even after living in the Pacific Northwest for decades where fall means gloom 🙂

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