At the onset of every new year, the most common expression one can hear is “my new year’s resolution is….” As far as I can remember, way back when I was in elementary school, we would be told to write our new year’s resolution when we came back from the holidays.
A New Year’s resolution is a promise to yourself to start doing something good or to stop doing something bad on the first day of the year. But have we really given serious thought to the resolutions we make? It is said that a resolution is just “something that goes in one year and out the other.” Nothing resolved. The New Year is just “a new start on old habits.” (Anonymous).
Here’s a joke on the Internet that shows an unresolved resolution:
2007: I will not spend my money frivolously.
2008: I will pay off my bank loan promptly.
2009: I will pay off my bank loans promptly.
2010: I will begin making a strong effort to be out of debt by 2010.
2011: I will be totally out of debt by 2011.
2012: I will try to pay off the debt interest by 2012.
2013: I will try to be out of the country by 2013.
Three days from now, I wonder what the new resolution will be. To try to stay alive in jail?
Actually, I like what Melinda Johnson wrote for US News about a refreshing way to approach a New Year, especially for those of us who are tired of making the same resolution every year. She suggested that “instead of the typical resolution that identifies a concrete behavior, you assign a theme to your New Year. The theme should be a word that resonates in you and embodies something that has been missing from your daily life. Instead of defining specific behaviors that you want to do, you simply keep your theme in mind and allow your days to unfold from there.”
Johnson gave some examples of themes:
Mindfulness. Pay attention to the present moment. This can cover many behaviors like noticing the food we eat instead of eating and texting or watching TV even while eating; looking at your child while he or she is telling you something; talk with your spouse about a current problem without mentioning what he did in the past.
Enjoyment. Health and wellness businesses have flourished more in recent years because people want to avoid getting deadly diseases. So keeping fit and healthy need not be achieved just by dieting and exercising. Include in this theme some enjoyable activities that can help you think, feel and be well like listening to music at least once a day, exploring new recipes or making your kitchen a place where you and friends or family can hang out.
Nourish. Johnson cited how today’s “fast-food society has created a unique situation where many of us are over-fed, yet under-nourished.” So under this theme, we can do activities like making better food selections by including fruits and vegetables in our meal, or drinking eight glasses of water a day, or saving up for one good vacation within the year. Rest and travel are nourishment to our spirits.,
I will personally take these three themes for 2014.
For mindfulness, I will refrain from planning too much for the years ahead and being anxious about my tomorrows. In everything I do every day, I will make it excellent, fulfilling and helpful to everyone around me.
For enjoyment, I will make my bedroom a personal sanctuary without my computer.
For nourishment, I will include daily tasks to feed my soul like continuing to read verses from the Bible, spending quiet time with the Lord and examining my conscience before going to sleep.
For my New Year’s Day Prayer, I will share this quote which I believe you can relate to:
Dear Lord, so far this year I’ve done well.
I haven’t gossiped, I haven’t lost my temper, I haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or overindulgent. I’m very thankful for that. But in a few minutes, Lord, I’m going to get out of bed and from then on I’m probably going to need a lot more help. Amen.
Come up with your 3 themes, too, instead of resolutions, for 2014. We will need all the extra help for 2014. A blessed new year to all!
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