On New Year’s Eve, a friend asked me whether I set New Year’s resolutions. In the past I have, but like many people, I didn’t really stick to my resolutions. I think this is because January 1st is an arbitrary day to begin doing something new or something I should have been doing all along. Just because it’s January doesn’t mean that my schedule is any different. There is no magic fairy that comes and gently clears my calendar with one soft breath, leaving time for me to work on my resolutions. On the contrary, January is time to catch up on work I delayed when taking time off during the holidays.
My friend said that instead of setting resolutions she’s unlikely to keep, she chooses a specific word – one that evokes what she’s striving for during that year. In 2017, her word was – nonjudgmental. Good choice, I thought! I really love this idea! Instead of hitting the gym along with thousands of others on January 2nd, pretending that just because it’s a new year I’ll magically love spending time on the elliptical machine, I’ll choose a word – a sentiment to strive for. Not because it sounds much easier than sweating it out at the gym. It may even prove to be tougher to remain mindful of this one word all year long. So, I’ve selected – gratitude – a positive emotion, acknowledging the goodness in my life.
- I will acknowledge all the goodness I am lucky to have in my life.
- I will look around me and see all I have, (not what I don’t have).
- I will look the store check-out clerk in the eyes, and say thank you, because I mean it.
- I will give my children random hugs, even if the look on their teen faces is unwelcoming.
- I will turn off the distractions, and be present to my husband and children.
- I will tell my friends that I am thankful for our friendship.
- I will call my mom and dad, because I am very lucky to still have a mom and dad.
- I will answer the phone even when I don’t feel like it.
- I will be open to the kindness of others.
- I will smile.
What do you hope and wish for in 2018? It doesn’t have to be something big. A small, achievable, measurable goal will do. Write it down somewhere you’ll see it each day. Any movement toward that goal is a positive achievement which should be celebrated. Happy 2018!