It’s the first day of a new year and such promise hangs in the air. Or, maybe that’s just the latest cold snap…
Whatever it is, I love this feeling and I’m going to peg that on the idea that a new year means a new start, in whatever needs to be started again or for the first time. Lots of people think that the new start and making resolutions thing is hokey- which it very well may be- but I prefer to look at a new year as a time to stop and think about life. What happened last year? Was it satisfying? What do you want your life to look like? Does it look like that? What can you do to make that ideal life happen?
Sure, you can ask these questions at any point in the year, and maybe should, but there is something about a new year on the calendar that helps me to stop life and simply reflect. During the rest of the year it feels like I’m too involved and wound up in things to really give life a good ponder.
Besides, I like the idea of having a whole year ahead of me, a set time frame, in which something could happen, if I work to make it happen. Being a goal-oriented sort of person, I love the idea of resolutions, of setting some goal for the year and working little by little to see that resolution come to fruition.
In the past, I’ve made some pretty vague resolutions like Be happier, Do something exciting, Run more often. In the most basic form, these were great, things I needed to do, but I didn’t really have a plan for making them happen. I needed a outline, I realized, and began to make more concrete, specific resolutions with some idea of how to make them happen. Two years ago I made a resolution to not bottle up negative emotions or to only express them in writing. I spent the year learning to communicate calmly and verbally about things that made me upset. It look two years before I finally found a way to do so comfortably and I have been happier for it.
Last year, my resolution was shadowy, something I understood internally but which I couldn’t quite articulate for some time. In the end, I came to see that my resolution was a mantra: Appreciate and live each day fully.
And I did.
It is cliche perhaps, but when taken to heart and repeated daily, it made a difference. On days I was dragging, I reminded myself over and over again how lucky I was to be alive, to be doing the things I could do, to be me. Those little reminders brought so much happiness and fulfillment to my life that I will continue with that mantra this year, keep it close to my heart and embrace the lifestyle it brings.
However, my biggest resolution this year is about relationships. It is my goal to do more listening and less talking. Lately, I’ve found myself talking too much and not appreciating the words of those around me as much as I would like to. To do so will be a daily practice, again relying on those quiet little self-reminders, but one that will ultimately enrich the relationships in my life. For me, the relationships in life are my greatest happiness and being a better part of them will bring happiness to us all.
Do you make resolutions every year? What are you hoping for in 2015?