I love resets, and January 1 represents a nice, fresh restart. I don’t actually *believe* in New Year’s “resolutions,” though, because – while typically made in earnest and followed by a full-bore (albeit (also typically) short-lived) burst – they are so often abandoned, left to fade into the rush of life…until maybe a year later. When, of course, the same thing happens again.
What I DO believe in, however, is that we have the opportunity to make life changes at any moment, on ANY day we so choose – you can take January 1 if it’s nice and tidy, or just go for it at any time that best suits you. (We just need to make sure we PICK a time, not procrastinate). The decision is generally a great deal easier than the follow-through…but then everybody knows that! But, if we can find a way to work towards something meaningful and realistic…the rewards are worth the price.
We all have areas in which we’d like to improve – sometimes strictly for our own well-being, and yet in others, for the impact it will have on those around us, and even the world. One of the most important things we can do for ourselves (and others) is to choose to be “happier.” Happier is something we all must define on our own – there’s no one size fits all when it comes to what makes each of us “happy” inside. And, PS, it is an inside job. But I can guarantee you that whatever the goal posts, if you do make it to “happier” (even if in tiny increments), you will see a marked change in the world around you.
Life is precious. We don’t know how much time we have, neither can we be certain of that given to those we love, so happiness matters. We all deserve the blessing of “happiness,” and no matter how different that may look to each of us, it is more than achievable.
Amidst an undoubtedly hefty resolution list, this one is an “overall makeover” that can both help us to reach many of our other goals, as well as be manageable enough that we can have some real success. It also happens to be a relatively realistic goal because we don’t have to be at the pinnacle of perfection…rather we are aiming for more “happy” in our lives, which can come in smaller increments (the “-ier” suggests it is more than our current state not necessarily a massive jump—> those baby steps are worthy)!
Short-term boosts are great, but I’ve seen too many resolutions fail because they are not appropriately backed by an equally ardent “I really want to make a lifestyle change”…which, let’s be honest, is the only way any achieved result will still with us long-term. We need to think about how we can incorporate our goals (and the steps we need to get there) into our daily routine withOUT it feeling like torture (torture = not going to do it. Period).
Any life change – or the endeavor to make a lifestyle change – requires the following:
- We truly want the change ourselves (we honestly want it, we aren’t being coerced, or forced, or guilted into it).
- The change is realistic (for example, we can lose weight or be healthier, but we can’t suddenly look like someone who is an entirely different body type than we naturally possess).
- The change is one we can maintain over time (we aren’t instituting so rigid a plan that we fail to account for human error and natural, flexible fluctuation).
That’s really it!
Well, then what gets in the way…?!
- Our “resolutions” and hopes for a new way of living are sometimes at the mercy of temporal constraints.
- As above…excuses are insidious. It’s easy to find reasons why “ohhh, I’ll do it tomorrow – I’m just too tired / don’t have time.” Or, “well, I’m already down hill so may as well keep going!” That kind of thinking will derail anyone!
Okay…so then how do we DEFEAT the roadblocks?
- Promise yourself that you will make time. Time is limited for us all – sometimes I’m amazed how much other people fit into the day, and how much they know! Well…they’ve got the same 24 hours so that means I need to figure out – if I want to fit something in – how I’m going to do that.
- Our excuses need to be exposed for what they are. They need to be acknowledged and nipped in the bud AS SOON AS THEY APPEAR. Keep tabs on yourself and be honest with you. If you need to write them down, do it. If you want to post goal pictures or positive affirmations around the house, do it. If you need to recruit a partner, do it. Whatever you need to squash those pesky excuses…DO it. You are NOT alone. We all make excuses. But…
- Remember that a tiny effort each day WILL get you headed in the right direction. Baby steps are still progress and it is SUPER important that you notice your efforts and any progress you make (again…little steps are still steps)!
“Happy” is something that we all can make strides towards. We owe it to ourselves to put it on the top of the priority list not only because we deserve to enjoy life, but also because being “happier” contributes to the overall picture. When we FEEL happier, so much more falls into place – we feel motivated, we feel invigorated, our mood and attitude improves…and we find more of that self-confidence that we both deserve and need to be successful in life.
- Make a list of what contributes to YOUR happiness. Try to incorporate more of THAT into your day.
- Look for the little improvements…and pat yourself on the back.
- Force a smile when you don’t feel like it (sometimes – it’s also okay to need time to “feel”).
- Make a gratitude list…
- Be yourself, and be proud. You’re worth it.
Blessed 2019 to all…