I stopped making New Year's resolutions many years ago. For how many years did I set out with a list of things to do that would lead to improving my health or my looks or my attitude or my relationships with others? And how many years did it take for me to realize that my success with these resolutions was mediocre at best but most often, a complete failure? What always resulted was not only my not accomplishing my goals but also feeling badly about myself. So I took what I thought was the easy way out and just didn't make any more resolutions.
As the years have gone by, I have come to understand that Jan. 1 is not some magical day on which we can take on the world and make everything better or even different in our lives. I am sure that there are people out there who have succeeded with their resolutions but I personally have not met a single one of them. I personally do not know anyone who has not ended up feeling defeated when they were not able to stick to their resolutions. So why do we continue year after year doing the same thing and expecting different results?
Well, I think that I have finally found a solution. I am making a New Year's resolution this year. My resolution is to be kinder and gentler to myself and more caring about myself. I am going to do nice things for myself. I am going to focus on all of the good things that I do on a daily basis that will make me feel better about myself. I am not going to focus on anything past or present that doesn't make me feel better about myself. I am not going to do or participate in any activity that has a negative connotation or aspect to it. When such is occurring around me, I will either leave the situation or change the subject. If the negativity is occurring in a business situation where I can't influence a change, I will remain silent and remove myself as soon as possible and move on to something positive.
I know that this new behavior can't be exercised perfectly, but I sure can imagine how much better life will be for me and everyone around me if I live this way most of the time. I will allow myself to sleep in on the weekends without feeling guilty. I will start doing more shopping so that I am not forcing myself to settle for something at the last minute with which I am not really happy. I will go for a walk and enjoy my surroundings rather than forcing myself to walk at a certain rate where I become so focused on that aspect that I fail to see what is going on around me. I will make the effort to get up from my desk more often and go to the offices of others to ask questions rather than sending an email or picking up the phone. The personal connection and the walking are so much more beneficial.
These are but a few of the simple changes that I can make to improve my life, which will ultimately improve the lives of those around me. But, most importantly, if I create the new habit of stopping any negative behavior and always refocusing on something positive, I will be more than successful with a New Year's resolution. I will have created a whole new world for myself that is better than anything I could have done with the old long lists of the past. In fact, I am so excited about the prospect I am not waiting until Jan. 1. I am starting right now. Happy New Year to all!