Well, it is now the time of year when many of us look at where we are at in our lives, and see the need to change something for the better.
I have to admit that I have mixed feelings about resolutions.
On the positive side:
-It is never a bad thing to try to improve ourselves
-Making a resolution can provide us with a definitive start date to begin our improvement
-Making a resolution can allow us to focus on a particular aspect of our lives that we want to change.
On the negative side:
-Resolutions are frequently started out of frustration with little thought as to how to approach the problem.
-When we fail to follow through with the resolution or don’t achieve our goal, it fosters a sense of “I might as well not even try–I won’t be able to do it anyway” when we think about trying things again in the future.
So when considering whether or not to make a New Year’s Resolution, I would encourage you to think about a few things:
-Be realistic about your goal and your ability to reach it.
-Have a plan about how to reach that goal with specific actions (“I will exercise more” is not a specific enough plan).
-Recruit others to help you, or at least support you and follow your progress. You are more likely to succeed if you are working with others, or if you are getting some positive feedback from others for your efforts.
-Resolutions do not have to be about improving ourselves. By deciding to do something to help others, we will also make ourselves better. Remember the saying, “It is better to give than to receive”.
One of my favorite resolutions was to stop at every lemonade stand that I saw, regardless of how much of a hurry I was in, and surprise the kids by paying more than they were asking. I managed to keep that one for a whole summer with only one exception, and that was traffic related. Each time I would walk away without being sure which of us enjoyed the encounter more. Now that I think about it, I may have to try that one again this year.