How many of you made New Year’s Resolutions in 2015 for 2016? Did you keep them? Were you successful in making changes? What about two days ago? Did you make new resolutions or did you rewrite old ones? Maybe you pronounced you were going on a diet, would never again get caught in a last-minute rush for ordering holiday gifts online or running to the mall for just one more gift. What do you want to change in your life? Do you want to overcome your fear of heights and bungee jump next vacation? Maybe. Maybe not.
There’s two schools of thought on resolutions. A resolution (rez-o-lution) is made with determination when you want to improve your life. Resolutions (Rez) have a sense of urgency attached. You will enroll in school to study for the degree needed for the job you want. You will lose 30 lbs, so the doctor won’t put you on cholesterol medicine.
A re-solution (ree-so-lu-shun) is when you want to change something, but it’s not a new issue with you. You know what to do, what you should do, but you just don’t want to do it. Instead, it’s like a rerun of the “someday, I’ll change.” “I’ll clean out the garage this year.” You’ll be writing that one down again next year if there’s no pressing reason to accomplish the goal.
Whatever your motivation, whether you resolve or re-solve, be kind to yourself as you travel the pathway of change. Change is not easy. It is easy to fall into old patterns. If you can’t see your way to change, perhaps reach out and encourage someone who is trying to change. Believe in them. Tell them you know they can do it. That’s something we can all resolve to do. Happy New Year from our family to yours!
What do you want differently in your life this year? How do you go about getting there? How important is it to you? Re-solutions are a lot like missing socks that disappear in the dryer. You put in two, and get out one, and the other evaporates. If you happen to rediscover the missing one, it reminds you that you don’t know where the other sock is. And in the end, it’s not a critical issue and you don’t put much energy behind the loss of one sock or the reuniting of two missing socks.
How to make resolutions rather than re-solutions: When you sit down and take a hard look at your life, look at yourself through the eyes of love. Don’t be self-critical, harsh, or demanding. Forgive your imperfections just as you would hope someone would overlook yours. Instead, think about your blessings. Write thoughts of what makes you happy. Now when you get done doing that, things look pretty good, right? What, really, is there to change that’s truly necessary in your life?
If it’s health-related resolution, look at all the people in your life who need you to remain in their lives. If not for yourself, then will you make a change for them? If it’s a negative behavior you are trying to change, list all the positive things that will happen in your life when you make the change. Remember you cannot change someone else; you can only change yourself. But, you can inspire others to make good changes.
Progress is just a series of small forward steps. Tear up your giant list of resolutions and toss it in the trash can. Focus. Re-focus.
Rather than making large lists of resolutions you may or may not keep, start small and work your way up. Make one major resolution for 2017. Then break it down into small steps, step one, step two, step three, step four. Gradually make your way through the four steps. Celebrate your success. Then next year, make two resolutions and do the same thing. You don’t need to reinvent your life. Just make one major positive change for the best, and you’ll be a success!
Share with us what it is you’d change in your life, if you could make just one change. What would it be? Happy 2017 to you and all whom you love. Resolve to make it your best year yet.
Cody D. Jones ‘02
Owner & Community Member