I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions, but as I was saying good-bye to 2013 I did think, “If I were going to make one resolution for 2014, what would it be?” What one thing would I be committed to doing above all other things?
Most of the resolutions that we set are just goals, and most often goals that fall by the wayside because we’re not willing to make the changes they require of us. How do I know this? When we are really ready to make a change, we do it at whatever moment we feel inspired to make the change, because we are emotionally ready to make the change our head thinks we should make. Ironically those changes usually happen in an instant. For example, I’d pondered giving up red meat for years. Occasionally I’d try to do it, but I always went back to eating red meat. Then one day several years ago I was watching something on the news and from that moment on, I gave up red meat with minimal difficulty. Why? I was ready to make the change. Most resolutions don’t work because we’re trying to force ourselves to change a behavior we emotionally don’t want to change at this time because our emotions don’t care if it’s January 1. When you’re ready, you’ll make the changes you want or need to accomplish.
However, in the spirit of resolutions, it occurred to me that there is really only one resolution worth having, ever. It’s being resolved to be a better person each day. Sounds simple. But the truth is, when we’re trying to be a better person each day, we are asking ourselves to move beyond instant gratification. Or, one might say, instant happiness.
Being a better person might involve:
- Choosing not to speak your mind just because a thought crosses it.
- Picking foods that are good for your body, not just your taste buds.
- Doing the right thing even if it’s not the convenient thing.
- Learning new things.
- Setting boundaries to have a balanced life.
- Giving more than you think you can.
- Being compassionate instead of judgmental.
- Embracing change.
- Being disciplined.
You get the idea – it’s about rising above what’s easy and doing what makes us better.
I’m not going to go resolution crazy, but I am going to try to look back at the end of each day this year, and see if I did at least something better than I did the day before. And, if I’m lucky and persist, by the end of the year I’ll have developed a few new good habits that made me a better person.
What do you think about New Year’s resolutions?
Everyone who comments by January 11, 2014 will entered into a drawing for a Society T-shirt.