Another year, another resolution. Do you remember everything that you were determined to accomplish last year? I imagine you succeeded in achieving some things, while you may not have reached other goals. Believe it or not, reaching your goals is not the measure of your success. Rather, setting your goals and striving to reach them is all that is asked of you, as the Mishnah says, "It is not your obligation to complete the task, but neither are you at liberty to desist from it entirely'" (Ethics of our Fathers 2:16)
With this in mind, let's approach our New Year's dating resolutions with a new perspective. You know better than anyone else in the world what should be on your list. I can't tell you what your resolutions should be, but I can offer you a guide on how to make your top 5 dating resolutions.
1. It's gotta make you smile
Make your first dating resolution something that makes you smile when you think of it. How often have you resolved to do something that made you cringe or feel frustrated? It may have been on your list of things to accomplish, but every time it came to mind you rolled your eyes at the thought of doing it. So let's make your first dating resolution something that puts a smile on your face instead. Smiling always brings out your best side, so no matter what resolution you choose, it's a win-win! Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:
"I resolve to create and follow my own dating rules!" Doesn't that make you smile? For some of you, following everyone else's rules has turned your world upside down. Now it's your turn to take all the wisdom you have and make your own dating rules!
"I resolve to keep a sense of humor about dating." Find the amusing side of dating. Resolve to turn the tables on dating woes and you can laugh your way to your soul mate. (Just remember: humor, not sarcasm.)
"I resolve to enjoy the moment." You don't need to worry or look for "signs" that this relationship is right or wrong. Simply enjoy the moment you are in: before a date, while on the date and when reflecting after the date. Enjoy staying in the moment. Clarity will come without anxiety. Smile and remember that you're more likely enjoy your next moment after you've just enjoyed this one!
2. Acknowledge your past, plan your future
Think about this past year. In what ways have you changed your dating habits for the better over the past 12 months? Now pat yourself on the back for making that shift! When we look back, all too often we see only what we did wrong. There is a time for correcting mistakes. However, I want you to make resolutions from a place of feeling positive about your ability to accomplish.
Now that you have in mind the good changes you made this past year, imagine what else you could change for your future. Think about how making that change will improve your road from here to chuppah. Visualize yourself making the shift. Can you see it in your mind's eye? If not, think of something else. Empower yourself to make a change from within that will impact yourself, your dating and your life for the good.
3. I'll be ready when we meet
Finding your soul mate is your goal. Your Mr. or Mrs. Right is out there. You may be wondering, "Wherever could s/he be?" Let's start asking a different question: "What can I do for my soul mate?" I want you to make your third dating resolution focused on the soul mate you haven't met yet. What can you resolve to do this year that you haven't been doing? Do you need to let your guard down, speak more sweetly, be more kind? By practicing your new resolution you will be perfecting yourself and preparing yourself for dating and living with your soul mate. And in the meantime, you'll be treating all your dates even better than you did last year.
4. Handle with care
Ever heard this one? "Why are you still single? You're such a great catch!" Or maybe this one: "You should stop being so picky." Or how about: "It will happen when you least expect it." Ok, you can stop gritting your teeth. Relax. I know it's not at all what you want to hear.
But let's be real for a minute: people are going to keep saying these things, right? Knowing this, dating resolution #4 is about how you respond to such comments. Has your way of dealing with them been working for you so far? Do you think you can come up with a ready answer that both empowers you and has sensitivity to the speaker? You can take care of yourself and another at the same time.
5. Strive to be your best
Take a good look at yourself. What have you been putting off? Is there something you've been meaning to do about your physical or spiritual well-being? I want you to work on something that will make you more attractive to yourself. Don't worry about whether or not it will make you a more attractive mate. By working on what is best for you, you are preparing for reuniting with your soul mate. Make sure what you decide to work on is what you want to strive for, not what someone else told you to work on! You know yourself best. Trust your inner self and figure out what is a top priority for the next 365 days.
Your resolutions can really make a difference. Take some time to think about them, be specific and write them down. Now is the time to visualize your future and work on becoming the 'you' you want to be.
Originally published here, on Aish.com.