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Lights Go On -- New Year's 2014 Resolutions -- 'Toward and Away'

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I, like you, have been making New Year's resolutions, and this year I am utilizing a bit of a different tactic.

You see, usually, I resolve to DO something -- accomplish something that doesn't exist today, move toward a new idea. Then, I read this quote by Benjamin Franklin:

"Be at war with your vices,
at peace with your neighbors,
and let every new year find you a better person."

It occurred to me: What about accomplishing in regard to moving away from something, stop doing something, use my resources to put to rest habits and tendencies that are counterproductive to me and therefore others?

So, I guess its confession time. On my list of the things that I will not miss (once I stop doing them) are:

1. Snooping -- Come on, you know we all do it. So, if someone uses my computer and leaves their email account open, should I look at it? No. But have I? Yes. Is that cool? No. Do I know better? Yes. So what happens? I get pulled between these two forces.

"No, you don't," says the angel on my right shoulder. "Yes, you do," says the red guy with the pointed tail on my left. It really isn't cool. I resolve to go with the angel.

2. Being Right -- I have found that as soon as I believe I'm right, then someone else is wrong. "Limited thinking: the surest way to never grow," says my dear friend Ana von Hanover, who is also a writer. For me, I find that when I "prefer" and "avoid," my thinking is expanded and others' ideas are invited. I know how excluded I feel when someone says,

"You're wrong." I am grateful that I grew up with the following edict: If someone says, "This is the only way," I run the other way.

3. Eating (too much) Sugar -- OMG -- Is this the devil's weapon of destruction or not? I recently re-discovered a favorite childhood hard candy. I bought a ton of them online and devoured them in prodigious amounts like I did when I was 10. The results were disastrous. I got high. But it was not a fun high. It was an hyper and anxious high, followed by depressing depths, alarming self-doubt and even sore joints. Really? From sugar? Yep. I quickly realized that when I avoid such amounts of sugar, my mind and body thank me through clear thinking and painless movement. But my cravings for these candies are still at my 10-year-old level. So, email me your address for some free hard candy. I'm done.

4. Drinking (too much) alcohol -- Do I drink? Of course I do! Doesn't everybody? For me it started in college, as did smoking cigarettes. Although I gave up cigarettes many years ago, drinking has stayed with me ever since. It was a "no-brainer" to stop smoking. The beneficial effects were that I stopped coughing, food tasted better, and I awakened with a clear head in the morning.

But drinking? It really didn't have ill effects on me, at least that's what I thought until I realized that over the years, I have acquired a tendency to imbibe greater amounts each time I do drink. I have even been told by loved ones that, like most of us when we drink in excess, patience disappears and is replaced by impatience lying just millimeters below the surface. AND, here comes resolution number two again: a demeanor of "being right" emerges! This sucks, so add moving away from those two drinks a day and understand that if I really want to drink -- one is enough, two is not better. BTW, I feel better too.

So, my "away" resolutions are from snooping, being right, eating (too much) sugar and drinking (too much) alcohol.

And now moving toward?

I have adopted these words by Jim Rohn:

Be strong, but not rude;
Be kind, but not weak;
Be bold, but not bully;
Be humble, but not timid;
Be proud, but not arrogant.

What are your "toward and away" resolutions?

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