The custom of setting new resolutions or goals, right in line with the birth of a new year, seems entirely too Pagan of an idea to be of modern decent. At least to me, anyway.
That does not however, change the fact that the modern practice is an empty shell of what it could, or should, be. It only goes to show what the Will of Man, what our inner resolve and fortitude, has been ground down to. A half-hearted attempt to remedy some aspect of life that is lacking at the given time, with failure being expected and success seen as some sort of long shot due to the “difficulties” of the task.
A resolution to quit smoking, to be kept only until the first truly stressful day.
A proclamation of life-changing philosophy, only to be forsaken at the first opportune of convenience.
The fact that the practice of setting resolutions without intending to keep them is so prevalent, only further proves the decline of our collective resolve and strength of will. And a resolution is nothing more than those two things. A person resolving to strive for a goal, and then employing their own strength of will to adhere to the resolution and the pursuit of the goal. But when resolutions are made carelessly, or even worse, made with the predisposition to failure, it cheapens the entire endeavor and counter-acts what the process is supposed to be about. A personal resolution is essentially a promise made to oneself. But if even that kind of promise is made with the expectation of being broken, it can only lead to further personal and inter-personal promises being broken. For how can your word really mean anything to someone else, when it doesn’t even mean something to you?
Spiritual and Magical goals are immensely important. In an environment with such little structure and formal organization, one’s own personal goals are often the only markers of achievement and progress one has. It is for this reason why care must be taken as to what goals are set, and how they should be achieved. Unlike New Year’s resolutions, spiritual or magical goals must be met. For if a goal is not met, then there can be no progress onto the next goal, or the next achievement. If a goal has failed to be met, there can be many reasons as to why, such as the goal itself being too lofty, the time allotted to pursue the goal being too short, or simply the amount of effort put forth to achieving the goal being insufficient. Regardless, these are all things that should be responsibly contemplated before setting or re-evaluating a goal, so that success can be achieved and a new set of goals can be undertaken. Because it is this progression of success and achievement that builds confidence and forges inner fortitude and strength of will. The knowledge that one has succeeded, and will succeed again, if enough will is exerted. It is damn near impossible to perform any act of magic without a strong will. That is what (most) magic is. Human will, raised and directed. So whether they be short term, or long, spiritual and magical goals are essential to the spiritual and magical progression of any practitioner.
One of my short term goals for the coming year will be to finish and hang decorative pictures around my home that display Demonic Sigils, Enns, and prayers to begin the process of including more daily devotion in my life. One of my long term goals for the coming year will be to establish contact with at least two Demons from Demonolatry hierarchies. When these goals are achieved, more will be undertaken, and the progression will continue.
“Remember, who dares, wins.” – Frater U.D.