For many people, the start of a new year signals the time when we place all sorts of restrictions upon ourselves and call them our resolutions. And for a very precious few, those resolutions are broken before the end of January and we feel very badly about ourselves. So, many years ago I stopped making resolutions so that I avoided feeling badly if I didn’t reach my goal but I found that something was missing. After all, this is the perfect time for new beginnings and I felt like I was passing up a great opportunity to make improvements in my life. Therefore, after much thought and consideration, I came up with a plan for myself that I would like to share with you in case this is something that may be of interest to you as well.
“The most important thing to remember is that when we do something nice for someone else, we, too, will benefit from the results.”Barbara Jacoby
My New Year’s resolution is to be kinder and gentler to everyone, including myself. There is no reason to ever be unkind to anyone. Of course, we all make mistakes and bad choices on occasion but beating up on anyone that does so will never make things better. I would like to find a way to do something special for someone every single day. It doesn’t have to be anything big or something that costs money. But what it does require is being alert to opportunities that may present themselves where we can do something that will make someone feel better about themself or make a task a little easier.
If you are looking for suggestions, you might consider making an effort to not say a single negative thing to someone about anything. With a little thought, there is a way to think before we speak and carefully select our words so that they are beneficial and not detrimental. As an example, if your child has done something inappropriate, rather than yelling at them, which accomplishes nothing, perhaps explaining to them that what they did was not the right thing and guiding them to make a better decision for a similar situation in the future would be perfect. If your friend or spouse or significant other has done or said something to you that was not nice, you might find that if you quietly explain how you have been hurt rather than getting angry and not talking to them, you will all feel better and perhaps may even set a course for changes in your interactions in the future.
We can even make a difference in how we act and react to others in other areas of our daily life. At the grocery store, instead of getting annoyed with the mother who is having problems with a fussy child in the checkout line, allow her to check out ahead of you if you have the time to do so. Or when you get to the parking lot and see someone who could use help in loading their provisions into their car, if you can, step up and provide them with assistance. It only takes a moment but it sure could make a huge difference to someone who is struggling with this task. Or if you decide to do some cooking, maybe you can add to your recipe and take some of your extra food to a neighbor who may not be able to prepare food for themself.
The most important thing to remember is that when we do something nice for someone else, we, too, will benefit from the results. It is always a good feeling when we can put a smile on someone else’s face or handle a situation with another person where we treat them with dignity and respect. No matter who or what may occur, if we just allow others to do, say and/or be whomever or whatever they choose, everyone benefits. And if we try to be the best that we can be and not give in to negative emotions like guilt or hate or other forms of judgment, we will find that our lives will be so much happier. A resolution to be better and do better and make more conscious decisions that are positive in nature will create a better and happier life not only for ourselves but also for everyone with whom we come in contact. And that is my hope and wish for everyone in the New Year.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.