Sadly and happily, we are at the end of the year. Sad, because the magic of Christmas is behind us. Happy, because the New Year is upon us, and we have a proverbial clean slate. One of the traditions of the New Year is to make resolutions to do better. Better. What does ‘better’ mean?
We ‘resolve’ to exercise more. We ‘resolve’ to eat more healthily. We ‘resolve’ to do better with our relationships. We ‘resolve’ to do better with our emotions. We somehow think that if we just make a ‘resolution’ to do things differently in the New Year, we will be happier/better connected/fitter. Resolutions are good.
Resolutions are not the only thing we need. A New Year’s resolution is defined as a commitment that an individual makes at New Year’s Day. We all have good intentions. We all want to do better. However, just making a ‘commitment’ is not enough. We need follow through.
We need follow through when we find ourselves in a negative emotional vortex. We have mental/emotional ‘muscle memory’ of the way things have always been/the way things used to be. Because we anticipate that things will be the same, we respond in accordance with our expectations. Therefore, our resolutions can be annulled.
We need follow through when we are just too tired to go to the gym, even though we just purchased a year-long membership. It is too cold, it is too hot, my friends can’t go, it’s raining outside. Any excuse will do. I remember Jim Fixx remarking in one of his books, that the hardest thing about running was lacing up his shoes. We need follow through, or nothing will change.
We need follow through, when we are tempted by the fragrance of that forbidden treat. You know the one. It is the one that trips us up every time. Personally, I do not bake Toll House chocolate Chip cookies. Not because I don’t know how. Not because I don’t have time. I don’t do it because I would eat ‘just one more’ until either they were all gone, or I would be ill from the indulgence. Because I know how I am, I avoid the situation entirely. Maybe I deal with ‘avoidance’ rather than ‘follow through.’
Like many of us, I resolve every year to be ‘better.’ Every DAY I wake up with the quality decision to ‘be’ better. To watch my words, to watch my actions. To extend more grace to my fellowman. To forgive others, and myself. I have found that I can do anything for 24 hours. I may not make it through the year, but I can make it through the day. Maybe……
Until next time,