When I set out to write this blog for Hudson Valley Parent, my intentions were to somewhat help other dad’s (and mom’s), especially those who tend to be less vocal about their feelings when it comes to their child with special needs. I tried to add some situations that might not have directly involved Luke alone, but where he was kind of the nucleus. After all, he is always at the center of everything we do, all our thoughts and all our plans. I hope that I have succeeded with that goal.

That brings me to the idea of resolutions for this New Year. I was never one to thrive on what my New Year’s resolution was going to be. I wouldn’t be that person who had too much to drink at the party telling everyone “starting tomorrow, I will never drink again” or “I am going to lose 30lbs this year”. I kind of just did those things. Well, I didn’t lose 30lbs, but in my defense I didn’t try to.

I just saw a news report on exercising with a stat that read 2/3’s of gym memberships go unused. My guess is most of those memberships had start dates of the first week of January.  So why set an unrealistic goal for you that is masked by this “resolution”?  As a family, we decided to write down our 2014 resolutions. Again, this had me thinking. This time, I thought about what is a resolution vs. goal vs. habit.

One of Luke’s resolutions is to “read better”.  This won’t happen unless one of my goals is to help him read better. Another is to ride a bike. Again, won’t happen unless I figure out how to be more patient. Resolutions are a fun conversation starter, but a goal is something we should all have in mind to make us better people. This goal in a sense is a change of habits.  One of my favorite moments in sports is when a player is in the middle of a ridiculous personal streak. Currently, Kyle Korver of the Atlanta Hawks has hit a 3pt shot in 103 consecutive games. I have been following this streak like I would follow my son. At this point, I don’t think he wakes up in the morning and says I am going to keep this streak going. Out of habit, he wakes up on game day, and does what he does when he is on the court. To put this streak into perspective for the non basketball fan, the next closest player is Portland’s Nicolas Batum with 44 games. My all time favorite streak was Cal Ripken’s consecutive games played streak of 2,632. As the streak soared past Lou Gehrig’s record of 2,130, people would bash him stating that he should take a day off and that the streak was hurting his team because at times his playing declined. Take a day off? Out of habit, this is what he did. You can’t just turn that off for someone else. Only they can stop it, which is eventually what happened.

Kyle Korver in the middle of his streak of 103 consecutive games making a 3pt shot.

Kyle Korver in the middle of his streak of 103 consecutive games making a 3pt shot.

Luke not being able to read isn’t the habit. The habit is the amount of time Luke is getting to practice his reading. And that can change.  So in essence, in order for Luke to achieve one of his resolutions, it is a goal of mine to break a habit that was created. The result of this will be so much more rewarding for both of us.

After all, if we keep doing the same thing over and over and expect change, we are technically insane right?