Goals and growth over resolutions | Kris Hill

Reflection and resolve are common this time of year.

Many reflect on the year just passed, what was good about it or what was bad, and resolve to continue the good while changing the bad.

Oh, New Year’s resolutions, a deceptively tempting concept that sets so many well-meaning folks up for failure.

A friend of mine posted in jest on Facebook that she would open a bar and call it Resolutions. The first two weeks of the year it would be a gym then the rest of the year it would be a bar. It’s funny because there’s so much truth to the joke.

The intent is good. We all want to be thinner, smarter and happier. We write these resolutions down. And then we fail.

This may come as a shock, but my most bitter resolution failure came in 2007, when I decided I would read a book each month that year. It didn’t happen.

From then on, I swore off resolutions.

Another approach, also seen on Facebook, went like this:

Set goal.

Make a plan.

Get to work.

Stick to it.

Reach goal.

This makes sense. And what’s handy about it is that you don’t have to wait until New Year’s Eve to develop goals. This can be done any time of year. Growth, whether it’s personal or professional, can happen any time and even when you’re not planning for it.

Katherine Smith, our new staff writer, and I were talking about resolutions shortly after New Year’s Day. She doesn’t make them.

This seems like a good idea to me. Especially at this point in time when change, the one constant in life — well other than death and taxes — has come along in a big way at the paper and in Maple Valley. Sometimes resolutions come as a result of change. Other times change is a result of resolve.

Change is something I ponder frequently, especially in the past month or so.

TJ Martinell, who had worked at the Reporter for the past 18 months give or take, has left for another job. Katherine has taken his place. It’s going to take some time for me to adjust to this but also for folks in the community to adjust, to get to know Katherine, her style of journalism and her personality.

In the past few weeks I’ve learned about myself as an editor and as a journalist, a business I’ve been in for more than 12 years. It is likely I will continue to refine how I do my job, both as an editor and as a community journalist. Why not? It’s a new year, after all.

At the same time, there has been change in Maple Valley City Hall. As part of the city’s budget process, two employees are no longer on Maple Valley’s payroll.

As we make transitions here at the paper, there are transitions going on at City Hall, and we start this year dealing with those adjustments.

Katherine will be covering Maple Valley City Council meetings. It will be interesting to see what our discussions will be like the next morning as she catches me up on what happened on Monday nights as we lay out the paper. It will interesting to compare those to the conversations I used to have with Regional Editor Dennis Box, who covered those meetings for two years, before he took on other responsibilities and TJ was hired in April 2011.

Another perspective will definitely be welcome. Fresh eyes observing a city in transition will be helpful. And I wonder what kind of change will happen going forward as well as what kind of resolutions the City Council may have in 2013.

This is the beginning of a process of reflection which will lead to understanding, resolve and likely more change. And that’s just in Maple Valley — there’s plenty to keep an eye on in Black Diamond and Covington, too, not to mention the state Legislature, sports, schools, and beyond.

Welcome to 2013. It will likely be chock full of reflection and resolve.


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