Well, we’re about two weeks into the new year, and perhaps many of you made resolutions. January 1 is considered the day to implement major life changes and strive toward new goals – usually health wise, but also often financial.
According to a Forbes article, about 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but only 8% of those people actually follow through.
Many reasons surface regarding why so many people give up on their resolutions. Perhaps they set unrealistic goals or only created a resolution out of obligation – not will.
The best resolutions, though, aren’t the ones that can be checked off a list or fully completed. They don’t have a start date or an end date.
Resolutions should be constantly reviewed and evolved. Resolutions shouldn’t be dictated by a time constraint or schedule. Resolutions should be relevant at all times of the year – not just the first week.
The new year has begun, and I challenge you to make those types of resolutions in 2018. Begin asking yourself – How can I become a better person? How can I better others?
Although we’re already a couple weeks into the new year, it’s never too late to begin implementing new goals into your lifestyle. Below are just a few ideas to get you kick-started as you begin thinking about how you want to live moving forward.
Smile, Look Up, Be Optimistic
The only person who controls your happiness is yourself, as the legend of the Two Wolves teaches us. Changing your outlook and reaction to situations can enhance how you experience your life. Instead of saying, “This year I’m going to be happier”, consider what tools you’ll need to support a happier life.
Find the hidden blessing in tragedy, choose to smile in the face of anger or distress, seek out ways to improve your situation rather than pouting. Pouting is not only useless, but it can also be destructive. It binds one up like an anchor chain, limiting one’s ability to think clearly and move forward. If you’re in need of some inspiration, check out a recent article written by a 27-year-old woman dying of cancer.
The past cannot be changed, but you have the power to be forward-thinking and control how you choose to react and think in the future.
Turn Your Cheek, Rise Above, Forgive
Holding onto grudges and anger can be emotionally draining. Learning to forgive those who have wronged you and work toward a healthier relationship is an honorable goal.
While many people might resolve to vaguely “be more loving”, perhaps you can take personal inventory of where you haven’t been loving, or where you’re holding grudges and make decisive efforts to change your behavior.
This can become an ongoing proactive behavior throughout the year. It’s not a one time oft meaningless statement, but becomes an action item, and one that can be healing for yourself as well as others.
Although not all wounds can be easily healed, being compassionate and merciful will help you be more at peace. You may be surprised how lighter you feel without negative weights sitting on your shoulders.
Responding thoughtfully to disagreeable situations with grace instead of revenge is an acquired skill, but it’s one that is absolutely worth the effort.
Say Yes, Try New Things, Accept Challenges
New year, new opportunities. It’s easy to get stuck in your old ways and conform to your usual daily routine. It’s safe and comfortable. Personally, I fall victim to this way too often – eating the same food, watching the same movies, and being hesitant to accept challenges or do anything daring. I’m certainly a creature of habit, but I’m working on stepping outside of my comfort zone and saying “yes” more often.
Consider all possibilities when presented to you. When you have an immediate reaction to disagree or say “no” to an idea, contemplate the alternative. Ask yourself – Why not?
You can apply the ideal to all facets of your life, both big and small. Overcoming fears and accepting challenges, whatever they may be, is how we learn to enjoy the fullness of life.
Make Plans, Spend Time, Be Present
Resolutions often become about bettering ourselves. I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to make more money, I’m going to quit smoking! These are all fine goals, however, there’s a reason the gym is packed in January, and empty in February.
Personal challenges we know we struggle with aren’t simply going away because it’s January 1. Why not create a plan to be more invested in the things that are most meaningful, and can be huge supports to your personal goals, such as the gift of time.
The gift of time is one of the most precious things to give someone. Sharing your time shows you really care, and it even improves your health!
Making time for the people in your life who mean the most to you should be a necessity. Plan get-togethers that are mutually enjoyable and always show up for people when you’re invited to.
Life can get busy, but human connection and personal relationships are what nourish your mental health and happiness.
We’re interested to hear about your new year and any goals you set for yourself, so Submit Your Story!
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