It’s January 13, almost halfway through the month. May I ask who among you has successfully completed his or her list of New Year’s Resolutions for this year? Note that I said “successfully completed his or her list” and not “successfully began working on it”. That is because in my experience, creating a New Year’s Resolutions list has proven to be a real toughie, let alone actually doing it, and I really admire people who seem to have been gifted with a brain that auto-generates a list of resolutions as soon as the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Eve. <pout>
Do most people do this New Year’s Resolutions thing out of tradition or habit, or is there really a sincere desire to change that compels them to do it at the beginning of every single year? It’s become almost robotic… people going around asking one another the same question, “What’s your resolution for this year?”. But just like what’s been said so many times, “promises are made to be broken”, whether it’s a promise you make to others or a promise you make to yourself. Therefore, New Year’s Resolutions have now evolved to being nothing more than a list of promises that people love to hear themselves recite but have no intention of keeping… nah, I take that back… I think, a more accurate way of putting it is that most of us have every intention of keeping it but lack motivation and willpower to actually commit to it. Anybody here disagrees? [cricket--> chirr] … I didn’t think so. :-)
Making A List, Expounding On It Twice!
My choice to jump on this annual bandwagon is driven by a sincere desire to improve myself. I strongly believe that becoming the best version of myself begins with a simple decision to change. Thus, I have always taken this “resolution” thing seriously. I see it as a reminder that I have once again been given a chance to change the things that can still be changed and improve what can be improved. So how do I go about making my New Year’s Resolutions list and staying committed to keeping it?
- First, I need to identify what had been my greatest weaknesses in the past year, especially those that recurred far too frequently (that it’s just unacceptable not to do something about ‘em).
- Second, I need to identify what I think the possible solution(s) is/are. Whether I am sure about it or not doesn’t matter at this point; it’s almost always a trial and error process anyway.
- Third, I need to come up with a concrete plan or specific steps towards achieving that solution.
I’ll use a bit of my own New Year’s Resolutions list as an example:
Weakness/Area To Improve : Not having spent more time with God.
- Solution : Devote no less than one hour every day to God.
- Plan of Action : Have my morning devotion at 6 a.m. to 6:45 a.m., reading the Bible and praying, before doing anything else; have my afternoon quiet time just reading a Christian book and listening to Christian music everyday at 3 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.; end my day with a prayer every night before I go to bed (whatever time that may be)
Weakness/Area To Improve : Communicating with my husband.
- Solution : Be a better listener
- Plan of Action : Avoid interrupting him when it’s his turn to talk. Let him say everything he wishes to say and wait for him to say that he’s done, before I express my side.
Weakness/Area To Improve : Not having been the best Mom to my daughter last year.
- Solution : Be more attentive to her needs
- Plan of Action : No matter how busy I am, no matter what I may be doing at the moment, whenever she comes to me for anything, I will stop what I’m doing, turn to her and give her my full attention.
Weakness/Area To Improve : Achieving and maintaining my ideal weight.
- Solution : Eating healthy and regularly exercising.
- Plan of Action : Stick to the healthy food that is already part of my diet, but limit (if not totally eliminate) the chips and sweets and sodas; enroll in the TRX class and start learning how to play tennis (so I can play with Hubby–he just started too).
Weakness/Area To Improve : Saving money.
- Solution : Limit dining out. Avoid impulse buying. Don’t go into any more debt.
- Plan of Action : Cook more at home. Limit trips to the mall and when I do, wait at least 24 hours before deciding to purchase anything. Don’t use credit card, just cash for purchases.
Weakness/Area To Improve : Indecisiveness about starting my own blog.
- Solution : Just make a decision now! –> my decision obviously was “okay, I’ll do it!”
- Plan of Action : Get Hubby’s help in setting it up while I think of what to blog about for my first post. Type away. Click ‘publish’. Respond to comments. Plan the next post and aim for at least three posts a week.
Better Said Than Done?
A New Year’s Resolutions list is simply one way of acknowledging the fact that we are imperfect beings that possess the potential and ability to change if we set our heart on doing so. It is not something that you create just so you can remind yourself just how big of a failure you are and how impossible your dreams are. A New Year’s Resolutions list simply serves as a reminder of the lessons we learned from last year’s experiences and what we can do to apply those lessons as we live out this brand new year. It’s been said so many times as well that it takes fifteen days to make or break a habit. So in order for me to not get too overwhelmed and lose motivation, I am gonna aim small at first and slowly work my way up. I’m aiming for putting it into practice for fifteen days straight, and if what they say is true, then by the fifteenth day, it should be second nature for me to be a better listener, to be a more attentive Mom & wife, to be a healthy and disciplined eater, to be a frugal spender, to be a more effective blogger, and to be a better Christian.
What are your New Year’s Resolutions? Do you think my plan might work for you as well? What is your own plan of action?
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