I’m one of those people that take New Year resolutions seriously. Yes, I claim the title of being the annoying friend that asks everybody what their resolutions are. After asking many people, I have found the common theme among all of the answers: most people don’t make resolutions.
I’m sure you have heard a million versions about making and keeping New Year resolutions, so I offer you something different. I’m assuming you are also one of the people who didn’t write any resolutions this year. I will make it easy for you and tell you what your 2015 resolution is and how to accomplish it.
This year you resolve to be more authentically you.
You see how easy that was? Now, this is how you will do this:
- Make a “Best of 2k14” list. (I stole this from my niece and nephew who don’t have the same stable childhood I had, but were able to list all of the good in the past year.) Take a moment to acknowledge the good in your life. You get bonus points for finding the silver lining in the bad situations.
- Accept that there may be a “Worst of 2k14” list (but don’t spend time dwelling on it). People may have disappointed you. You may have missed an opportunity. The world may be crumbling faster than you can glue the pieces back together. Cry, breathe, and keep pushing forward. Becoming stronger because of your situation may make it to next year’s “Best of 2k15” list.
- If you want to do it- just do it. Seize life! My friend Linda passed away early last year. The last conversation I remember having with her was about taking a school trip to Cuba. Both of us would have had to take out more student loans in addition to the mountain of loans that we had already accumulated. We laughed about how last week we were broke, but somehow we weren’t broke enough to go to Cuba. Linda went to Cuba and I can still hear her voice laughing about you just have to live life and eat a lot of top ramen to pay for it.
- Let your “no” mean “no”. Today is the day you declare that you are too old to let another human being decide how you spend your time, money, or emotional resources. The tricky part is being a person of integrity and always doing right by others, but not at the expense of you. Good luck with that.
- Realize the world is much bigger than you and your life. Don’t just thank the little people as you climb the ladder of success, bring as many people up with you as you can. No matter what is going on in your life you are still better off than a lot of people in many ways. For instance, you may have a rocky relationship with your siblings, but you can help someone else learn how to make a budget. Or, decide that every third Saturday this year you will have a standing appointment where you help in a soup kitchen or women’s shelter. Sign up with a charity where you make a donation every month for a good cause. Join a ministry at your church that forces you to leave the comfort of church and find hurting people. The point is that once a month (or week) there is something that stops your daily routine and forces you to look at the world beyond your bubble and requires you to do something about it.
My resolution this year can be summed up in 6 words: Produce more. Consume less. Waste nothing.
Produce more: I was originally thinking about cooking more food. I also like to make ceramic pottery (I just got a Groupon for the class) and putting together furniture. I hope this year I actually build more projects, take a complementary and alternative medicine class, and possibly learn how to make soaps and hair potions and lotions. I could produce more profound relationships, teach more classes, write more letters like this, and add more joy and happiness. Producing more is a broad way of saying that I’m going to position myself to rely on my inner (and deeply hidden) creativity instead of buying and relying on things that provide fleeting instant gratification.
Consume less: Less T.V., less junk food, less processed food, less Facebook, less natural resources (goal of conserving water and energy), less self-doubt, and less fear. No more buying fast food when I’m not hungry. No more buying more stuff to fulfill an emotional need. Less bad stuff and negativity. Less unnecessary stuff. The goal is to make room for what is important in life and have more money in my bank account at the end of the day.
Waste nothing: No more wasting time, money, food, or energy.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and comments!