I don't believe in New Year's resolutions.
We've all been there - we choose the clean slate of an untarnished new year to make drastic changes in our lives, whether it's a healthier lifestyle, beginning or ending a relationship, or maybe a new career path. We start out with good intentions. But for most of us, we usually discard our new-found resolve after a few weeks or months. It's discouraging.
I've come to the conclusion that most New Year's resolutions don't stick because we raise the bar too high. We're bombarded on a daily basis by TV ads, billboards, magazines, and celebrities telling us we're not thin enough, rich enough, attractive enough, or famous enough. Happiness, according to our shallow modern culture, is just a perfect body or facelift away. Or that shiny new car. Or in getting that promotion or buying a bigger house. Instead of taking baby steps toward a single goal, we make a long list of all the things we want to change about ourselves and throw down the gauntlet with a take-no-prisoners, all-or-nothing mentality that usually spells disaster.
I think there's a healthier way to improve ourselves and still maintain our self-esteem and sanity. It starts with accepting ourselves, right now, just the way we are. No, we're not perfect. Yes, we all have flaws. But if we don't make the choice to embrace who we are on the inside, no amount of external changes will bring us added happiness.
So... this year, instead of making a negative list of bad habits to kick and unattainable goals, how about coming up with some positive things we can do for our inner self?
Here's my list:
- Embrace God's unconditional love.
- Write more.
- Nurture my inner child.
- Make new friends.
- Don't always follow the rules.
- Trust my gut.
- Don't settle, even if it means waiting.
- Worry less.
- Forgive myself.
What does your list look like? Make it a good one!
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