Happy New Year!
2018… a new year with new beginnings and opportunities! Many people begin a new year by making new year’s resolutions. I first learned about making resolutions when I was 8 years old. A friend told me that I would have a year of bad luck if I hadn’t penned my list by the stroke of midnight. I remember working hard on my list and asking my mother to review them before I pronounced them complete. I secured the ambitious list (for my age) under a lamb figurine I had on my bedside table, feeling quite accomplished and ready to take on the new year. However, by the end of January, the list was a distant memory and used as a bookmark for a book I read before going to sleep.
I read one statistic that cited only 8% of people keep their new year’s resolutions. This didn’t surprise me as most people have a tendency to create resolutions that are overly ambitious or restrictive. After skipping this tradition for many years, I decided to adopt another approach to making resolutions. Now, at the beginning of each new year, I make a list of three simple things to add to my life. I don’t share them with anyone else and I don’t list more than three. Examples include, but are not limited to:
– Do something unexpected for one person each day
– Once a week, send a note to someone and share why you are grateful for them
– Be extra kind to someone who seems to be having a bad day
– Smile when you don’t feel like it
– Take five minutes each day to take a mental break and “just be”
– Share a positive observation with someone each day
– Spend 30 minutes doing something completely fun every day
– At the beginning or end of each day, write down one thing in a journal or other special place for which you are truly grateful
This type of resolution is easier for me to keep and makes me feel happier and more accomplished. Interestingly, the fact that I keep them to myself makes them all the more fulfilling. In a way, it is like sharing an anonymous gift with others and I like that feeling.
Whether you choose to begin your new year with or without resolutions, here’s to a fantastic 2018!