My friends and I were comparing our struggles with New Year’s Resolutions, and okay, resolutions in general, because they seem to fizzle out over time…like February. We decided that it could be our wavering memories, lack of progress or real commitment, or the insane insanity of our lives that makes it difficult. Which led us to some problem-solving that may help us, and possibly, you.
(Names are changed to avoid embarrassment.)
Debbie said, “Resolutions are nice, but you never hear people say in October they’re so proud because they kept their resolutions. I should have kept mine, but I didn’t try hard enough.”
Ouch, neither did I.
My friend, Jo emphasized, “I need support, I need to follow my goals, check in regularly and have someone say,
I had to agree with that one, sometimes going it alone is, well, lonely.
Beth gave me a book about nutrition because she’s a convert and wants me to be healthier. I haven’t read it yet. Maybe just reading the book should be a goal and then I go from there? Small bites of goals?
One of my friends walks the bridge every morning and I admire her so much! I may join her after my appointment with the “knee” doctor next week.
“You know, you can change your life in one instant if you have the fervor and desire to do it,” Larry told me, quoting from some famous inspirational, motivational speaker he heard one time.
“That’s all well and good,” I replied, “but how do you know which thing or things to change and how will you remember which ones they are, or were down the road? Is it like an epiphany?”
He looked at me, shook his head and walked away.
I even write them down on classy stationary in numerical order, show them to my husband, and put them in a safe place and can’t find the paper until a few years later. You know you’ve done that, too!
But listen! I found a really interesting idea from another pal who tends to be a researcher, a reader and a doer. Here’s what Gretchen does.
“First I determine ten qualities that I want to embrace or improve and write them down on pieces of paper.”
Aha! We’re on the same page, I think!
She continues. “I choose things like: Patient, Optimistic, Forgiving, Humble, Creative, Generous, Kind, Honest…you get the idea. I fold them into small pieces and put them in a special little box on my dresser. Daily, weekly, monthly, with no particular pattern, I pull one out and read it to reinforce my goals. I feel that by reminding myself of the thought that went into these when I was creating them, the better chance I have of keeping my focus.”
Whoops, not the same page at all. I felt a little embarrassed. Such a simple process, kind reminders from you to yourself. You may get the same trait or a different one each time you pick one, but that particular word jumpstarts your thoughts and actions.
My mind was racing. I could create a box for my husband with the qualities he should have! (Not really, he’s a very good man!) He thinks we should resolve to be better on the spot as things come up in life.
I’m going to try Gretchen’s method for 2017. I think I’ll focus on five qualities instead of ten. It can’t be any less effective than what I’ve been trying all these years, and they could be completed by the 2nd or 7th of January with no pressure, and add a few as the year evolves.
Plus, I’ll learn to be a support to myself, and I won’t lose any more lists of resolutions.
Jory Westberry has been a dedicated educator for over 40 years, the last 14 as Principal of Tommie Barfield Elementary, where she left her heart. Life is rich with things to learn, ponder and enjoy so let’s get on with the journey together!