Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Well, it certainly is that time of year when we become reflective. Ultimately we review the past twelve months with fondness, disgust, or just plain apathy. Hence, resolutions. It’s a new year and a new opportunity for us to try to make it right again. Lose weight. Get financially fit. Read more. Find a mate. Go to church. Did I hit one of yours?
I have found that it’s easy to make resolutions but somewhat difficult to keep them. My solution? I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, at least not in the traditional sense.
I know. Seems as if I’ve taken the easy way out, but that’s not really true. Let me explain. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, instead I strive to make small, and sometimes more significant, changes in my life throughout the year.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve placed less significance on two areas of my life - acquiring “things” and how I’m perceived by others, particularly those folks who have very little impact on my health, wealth, or welfare.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t go to the grocery store wearing pajama pants and I still like to shop, but I don’t get caught up in having “stuff” in order to impress people or to make myself feel better (think “retail therapy”).
So what do I care about? I would like to think I put greater value on and in to the people with whom I have relationships, my financial stability (I’m trying to heed my grandfather’s advice to pay cash for everything. It’s hard!!!), my spiritual well-being, and my physical health (yes, that means actually using the Y membership that I pay for monthly).
All of the things I mentioned above are what’s important to me at this point in my life. Making empty promises on January first to lose fifty pounds isn’t as significant as celebrating just about anything with my family, or taking a road trip to see a concert with good friends, or even simply spending quiet time in thought.
I have also come to learn just how absolutely wonderful it is to have peace of mind. That wasn’t something I ever resolved to achieve, however, it has developed over time, cultivated by the nurturing of relationships, dismissing foolishness, and spending quality (not obligatory) time in prayer and studying the word of God.
Hmm…I suppose when I think about it, I really do make resolutions, but certainly not the same way I used to. And guess what? The results last longer and are more meaningful.
I don’t want to discourage anyone from resolving and taking action to improve their lives. Just make sure you’re listening to and following your heart in the process.
Happy New Year!