It’s that time again … if we made a New Year’s Resolution, statistically we have bailed on it! Since I knew that the odds were not in my favor, I didn’t make any resolutions!!
That doesn’t mean I haven’t resolved to make some changes in my life. In fact, the opposite is true. But removing the stress of a New Year’s Resolution has helped.
Life is often filled with difficulties we don’t see coming. It seems a bit cliche, but those difficulties can really be viewed as threats or opportunities. And when you are faced with several at once, it can be an opportunity to see what really matters. That has been the driving force behind my “resolutions”.
I want to be kind – no matter the circumstances!
I want to be grateful – and I want to DO gratitude.
The more we are exposed to something, the easier it becomes to think about. The more we have thought about something, the easier it is to think about!
So I am going to expose myself to the things that I want to do – kindness and gratitude – more! I am making a card for my bathroom mirror, my car and my office so I can think about it more. And the more I think about it, the easier it will become to do!
I encourage you to write down those things you resolve to do, post them where you can see them regularly, and see what happens! You will think more and do more!!
I have always thought Tigger was a pretty good representation of what happiness is supposed to look like. He is exuberant, has a zest for life, and is even impulsive at times. I have actually been proud to be called Tigger by many!
I will be honest in saying that some days I feel more like Eeyore. Does that mean I am not happy? After all, Eeyore is usually viewed as pessimistic, gloomy and an old stuffy donkey.
I think that depends on our definition of happiness, and I am learning that happiness is so much more than I thought it was.
Tigger does represent a part of what happiness is…but so does Eeyore! He shows up everyday; he is persistent and honest; he never gives up!
That’s just as much a part of happiness… Being resilient! So on those days when we feel more like Eeyore than Tigger, let’s give ourselves a break. Be proud that we are showing up and not giving up! That’s happiness too.
Remember being a kid and waking up excited about the day to come? You had so much to look forward to – a day playing outside with friends, a trip to the library for story hour, a family vacation, or maybe it was your birthday! Have you had one of those mornings since you were a kid?
Wouldn’t it be great if that’s how we approached every day even as adults? So often the stress of our life circumstances can numb us and we don’t even know it. What has led to this in your life? Is it your job, a fruitless marriage, a painful divorce, the death of someone you cherish, or just our normal day-to-day routines? Regardless, it can lead to us just sleep-walking through life. Have you recently said “I can’t wait until this day is over?” Is this day really all that different from what tomorrow will be like? Are we wishing away our days?
I am going through a personal reawakening and realizing that life is full of amazing wonder and surprise but we have to be intentional about waking up and looking for it! I have wasted enough years just going through the motions, just sleepwalking. NO MORE!!!! I have decided I don’t want to waste another minute! Instead, I want to experience it all – the happy, the sad, the exciting, and maddening and the mysterious. They all remind me that I AM ALIVE. It takes all the experiences in my life to grow me, stretch me and help me appreciate all that is good in my life.
I am waking up from my sleep, and I encourage you to do the same! Where should you start? Intentionally taste that first sip of coffee tomorrow morning. Did you notice the daffodils are already popping up out of the ground? Try looking in your child’s eyes, not just at them but IN them. Don’t waste another day just wishing it were over. Live each moment!
Are you inadvertently pushing happiness away?
It seems somewhat reckless to begin a new year without resolutions! Will I accomplish anything this year? By rethinking resolutions, I think we can actually accomplish more!
The pressure that comes with a list of things things I want to “be better” at can actually sabotage the good in my life.
Think about when your child brings their report card home. What is the first thing we ask? Why did you get a C in that class? Where are the straight As? I admit that I have even been guilty of paying my children for their As … I admit those were not my best parenting decisions!
The better questions to ask are: What did you learn? What class were you most excited about? Where did you see the most growth?
Instead of looking at our Bs and Cs this new year, let’s reflect on the most exciting things about last year; the areas we saw some growth in ourselves; the things we were able to learn and accomplish!
Focusing on our strengths and areas of competence seems like a much better way to start. You might try that with your kids too!!
I don’t think I have ever made a New Year’s resolution that I actually stuck with. For me, resolutions have always led to feelings of guilt and shame. Recently, I looked at some current research that says 25% of us break our resolutions in the first WEEK and 75% have given up within 3 months! It seems that resolutions don’t really work for most of us!
Below are some reasons I think we can’t seem to be successful and some suggestions for making better resolutions!
- We don’t set reasonable goals. Do we really think we are going to go to the gym at 5am 6 days a week when we haven’t gotten up that early or gone to the gym since last January?!?! Let’s start with reasonable goals we can stick to most of the time! For me, I am committed to consistently drinking more water, and STOP putting food in my mouth when I am full! (Am I going to lose a bunch of weight doing this or become the next marathon winner? Probably not, but it is something I can reasonably do and I know I will feel good about it!)
- When we trip or stumble we think of it as completely “blowing it” and quit or worse, further sabotage ourselves! Have you ever eaten a cookie, felt badly about it and then proceed to eat the whole bag? Instead, let’s give ourselves some leeway. We ALL have bad days, make mistakes, or stumble. Let’s instead use “Persistence, not Perfection” as our new motto! Let’s count our good moments and any progress that we do make!
- Willpower won’t cut it! We can only “push through” for so long and then our will to push on fades! We won’t need willpower if our goals are reasonable, if we provide ourselves with grace when we stumble and count our successes!
So join me on our Facebook page as we re-think our resolutions! Decide what matters to you and how you plan to reasonably see it through! I hope you will share it with us! Remember, no resolution is too small!