Deepak Chopra, on CNN, said, “We spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like.” Welcome to the week after Christmas. Our credit cards are likely bulging, and our bank accounts are starving.
New Year’s Resolutions come to the rescue; commitments to improve our lives. We might want to lose weight, quit smoking, exercise, show more patience, clean the garage, start a hobby, etc. No matter the resolution, Wikipedia claims only 12% achieve their goals. Life happens, and our enthusiasm on December 31st gets lost in daily routines.
Why do we make New Year’s Resolutions? Eighty-eight percent of the people fail and probably feel disappointed, frustrated, defeated, stupid, disgusted, or any other combination of negative feelings. That sounds like self-punishment. Still, more than half of all Americans continue to start January 1st with a resolve for change. I know I will.
I vote YES for New Year’s Resolutions. Why? They help me evaluate present situations, think about how to improve, make a plan, and start actively moving in the direction of my desired change. It is the one time of year that I seriously look back and ask hard questions concerning what I want and need. Even if I start and fail, I have not lost the acknowledgment of the desired improvement. I look in the mirror with penetrating eye contact and commit to my goal. Some years need monumental change and some insignificant change, but a personal life assessment is beneficial even if I don’t define a resolution.
If you are stressing about money and your house is overflowing with Christmas gifts, what would be better than to set a budget? Have a family meeting and let everyone claim ownership in recovering from the extravagance. Everyone reaped benefits; it is okay for everyone to cut back.
Plan a garage sale or have everyone clean up their space and donate overflow to Cooperating Ministries. So what if your resolution only lasts a few days—a priority has been established. One day of eating healthy or organizing one’s closet is one day of progress, and it’s all because you made a New Year’s resolution. It’s a self-start and self-actualizing sort of thing—you get all the credit for success and take full responsibility if it fizzles out before the week is over. Either way, you win, and failed resolutions are usually good for a laugh and sometimes even an intriguing story.
Make your plan for change and start with enthusiasm on January 1st. The odds are slim that the momentum will maintain itself, so do as much as you can as early as possible. Pat yourself on the back for what changes you made, and know you have a desire or goal in place for when your motivation gets a new burst of energy. I wish you an excellent start to 2023.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
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