I love New Year's resolutions. I love new goals and New Year's is the perfect time to set them.
However, I realize that time isn't a limitless commodity. I love goals, but successful people can get trapped by continually moving the goal once they achieve it. I've started asking myself if I spend all my time working towards goals, will I ever enjoying having met them?
So, I'm doing it differently this year. I'm throwing away the way I've looked at things in the past. My resolution for 2014 is to be happy. And as Abraham Lincoln said "Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be." Here is how I'm going to do it.
Ignore ads to buy stuff: We are bombarded all day with ads and articles that make you feel that there is something you can do or buy to make yourself happy. The perfect wrinkle cream will make you young and irresistible. The perfect car or house will make all your problems go away. We're told every day that if you try harder and spend more, there is a way to be a perfect person. Don't believe it -- not for one minute. It is totally untrue.
Don't listen to others: Starting with all the people who tell you you're crazy to try New Year's resolutions -- let people's snarky comments and manipulative sentences roll of your back. This is your journey, not theirs. You know best what is best for you.
Get to know yourself: Vow this year that you're going to think about why you do the things you do. If you're a "Type A" personality and find joy from a jam-packed schedule -- enjoy it! However, if you're someone who feels like their life is a giant treadmill that they can't seem to get off -- admit it to yourself. This takes self-reflection and the ability to acknowledge who you are. Vow this year that you're going to accept these things. It's the first step to living a life you're happy in.
Be good to yourself: Most people are much harder on themselves than others. When you're beating yourself up, be your own best friend. A best friend would not expect perfection as we are not perfect beings. Forgive yourself and move on.
Give yourself time: If you want to change something in your life, break things down into small steps to move forward. A teacher of developmentally disabled kids once told me that if you make the steps little enough, anyone can walk. Want a fabulous job that needs a degree? Maybe you can't enroll this semester. But, you can get a class listing from the local college and read what they have available. Anyone can do that.
Make it fun: It is really true that the joy is in the journey. I saw a video of myself at a party once. I was shocked to see that I wasn't smiling -- even though I was having a great time. So, I started spending more time with really funny people and I learned that laughing is a habit. When you laugh, others will laugh with you, and it makes even the hardest work a little easier. Find ways to have more fun every day.
And really, that is my goal for 2014. I don't want to wait until I achieve something to enjoy it. Life is too short for that. I want the journey that I'm on every day be the best life I can have.
So let's make 2014 one that is different -- one that makes us happier in the end.
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