New Year’s Resolutions

Resolution.

I’ve always hated that idea.  Making a resolution at the beginning of the new year.  It conjures up images of torture, for me.  You have to give up something or stop doing something, or do something more.  Or you have to do something better.  Be a better person.

But no pressure.  No, because you are in charge of restraining yourself from doing something or monitoring yourself so you do something more.  Or better.  That is, until you realize that it was a lofty goal, and that you probably had no intention of keeping the resolution anyway.  Or, at least you wanted to, because your spirit was willing even though your flesh was weak.

I know this all seems so negative.  The truth is, it’s really hard to break old habits or to adopt new ones to replace them.  Research shows that it takes twenty-one days, or three weeks, to break a habit or form a new one.  In the span of a lifetime, that really is such a short amount of time.  So the problem isn’t time.  When it comes down to it, it’s really about getting past the point of identifying the goal and getting to the step of resolving to actually do it.  You already know that the goal is worthwhile, that to accomplish it will be a positive change.  But how do you take it to the next step of committing to it?

I found some good tips on this website: 21 Days – How to Change a Habit.  The ideas are basic and useful.  If you are thinking about making a change or a resolution, you might pick up some practical ways for starting and sticking with your goal.  I have at least one goal for myself in mind, so I will try these tips for myself once I decide to really embrace it.

In the meantime, two resolutions that I will make and sincerely hope to fulfill is 1. to appreciate and cherish the people around me more, and 2. to find happiness more often in the small, everyday events and interactions.  I am always reminded of what the Dalai Lama says about the purpose of life: the purpose of life is to be happy.  As we wish each other “Happy New Year” we can take that wish to heart and remember that it is essential to the wellness of our being to feel happiness.  What would life be without that?

I wish you success in achieving your resolved goals, and I wish you happiness throughout the new year!

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