Better Than New Year’s Resolutions

I don’t know how New Year’s resolutions got started, but we all ought to agree to put a stop to them.

They most often start out good and end up forgotten sometimes as early as the first week in January.

Resolutions are good intentions gone bad.

Try making promises to yourself.  No public discussion of them.  Just best intentions that mean something to you.  We tend to treat promises we make to ourselves with more determination than resolutions.

Some examples:

  • Promise not to demean yourself and when you catch yourself doing it, stop and substitute a positive example of your goodness.
  • Retire the word “can’t” for as long as possible.  Then once you say it, retire it again – the goal being to extend the length of time between the last time and the next time we say, “I can’t”.
  • Assume a virtue if you have it not – that’s a Shakespeare quote and a darn good positive reminder to all of us to assume we can do something we have never done before.
  • Use the word “I’m sorry” as much as possible – and mean it.  I’m sorry means I am fallible but admitting it means I am not arrogant.
  • Put on the top of your list of goals for 2015 – humility.  The one quality that people cannot resist and that inspires confidence is humility.  Nurture it.
  • Do not try to make more money in the year ahead – promise your new goal will be to be better at what you do instead of getting rich at it.  The dirty little secret is that people who earn higher incomes almost always do so when they improve their ability to do their jobs not when they chase higher earnings.
  • Promise yourself that you will live in the present and only visit the past.
  • Stop with diet talk – start accepting your body as a gift the way it is.  Focus on healthy living not obsessive demeaning of your body.

A promise is the potential for excellence.

Happy New Year!

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