My New View on New Year’s Resolutions

In Creating Happiness, Recent Posts by Barbara Jacoby

For many years, I made New Year’s resolutions that lasted days or maybe weeks but never made it to the month marker, let alone a year. So I started to ponder the reason why this was the case and found that I didn’t really believe in this artificial date as a viable choice. After all, the most successful dates where I undertook a change or a new project where I was most successful were when a certain event was the catalyst for the change. In addition, every time that I made a New Year’s resolution and didn’t accomplish my goal, I felt badly about myself for not meeting my goal and was disappointed that I hadn’t done a better job with something that I resolved to do so I stopped making these resolutions on January 1st.

Now I have changed my mind again and will be making New Year’s resolutions again but they are not for or about me. My resolutions have to do with what I can do for others. I have resolved to do something nice for someone each day. Its size is not the measure but rather the intention.Barbara Jacoby

Now, once again facing the magical date, I decided to reassess the whole idea and I came to some interesting conclusions. All of the resolutions had to do with me personally and how I appeared on the outside. I resolved to lose weight or keep up an exercise program that would produce the physical results that I wanted. However, because I did not have the personal commitment to do these things on this particular day and time, there was no way that I would ever succeed. I had no personal motivation to do these things but rather felt that it was expected of me because this is what every one else was doing. So I ditched making resolutions at the first of the year and accomplished two things. I was now able to set a goal based upon a reasonable circumstance such as obtaining a step-counting band that allows me to track my daily walking so that I can confirm that I have reached a predetermined goal on a daily basis. The other major outcome is that I do not experience any more feelings of failure for not attaining a goal in which I had no real investment.

Now I have changed my mind again and will be making New Year’s resolutions again but they are not for or about me. My resolutions have to do with what I can do for others. I have resolved to do something nice for someone each day. Its size is not the measure but rather the intention. Perhaps it will be to allow someone in the checkout line ahead of me or to have another driver change lanes in front of me. It may be not getting upset with someone who is driving and texting but putting my energy into an awareness of what is happening and doing everything possible to keep myself safe from this driver. It may be on the job by giving support to a fellow worker when they are having problems completing a task. Or it might be saying “thank you” for a job well done to someone when I see that their efforts are not be acknowledged.

There are so many things that can be done without spending any money but whose value is worth so much more than a monetary reward. And most of all, I want to do all that I can to create an atmosphere where everyone is kinder and gentler toward one another. I would like to stop negative gossip wherever I can and bullying of others wherever I go and whatever I do. And in focusing on all things positive, I believe that the world around me will carry more positive energy that will help everyone with whom I come in contact and we will all be the better for it. So I am wishing the very same for all of you and may you realize all of your dreams in the year ahead. Happy New Year!