We recently celebrated New Year’s Eve and there are many people who get into making New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe you are one who doesn’t like them and absolutely never makes them. Maybe you are one who says people make resolutions and never keep them.
So why get into this silly tradition of making resolutions about what you are going to do or not going to do in the coming year? Actually, resolutions can be a good thing. No one is doing everything correctly and maybe saying you will change what you are doing is worthwhile. Just think about all the things you would like to change about your life.
What about a resolution to make things better with your partner or your child? Almost all of us could resolve to improve our relationship with others. Sometimes it takes just thinking a little extra about how your relationship is going to realize you need to invest some extra effort to improve it.
Remember how you talked a lot last year about cleaning out the garage or the closet or even your desk? That could be your new resolution for the new year or could be your resolution to do it without it being resolved on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day?
How about examining the amount of exercise you do each day or each week? Is that something you wish you were better about scheduling? You don’t need to make a big deal or a major resolution about it; you just need to begin to change how you do it.
Where does reading fit in your life today? Are you doing the amount you would like to? Are you reading with your young child every day or talking with your older child about what he or she is reading?
Did you feed your family a healthy meal or even eat a healthy meal yourself? Do you even know what a healthy meal is? Those are goals to work toward for all of us.
Did you reach out to the people you have been meaning to reach out to for a long time? Did you call a long forgotten relative or neighbor? Did you give food to the food bank or a donation to United Way or some other charity to help those in need? It is never too late to do these things. This is such an easily forgotten goal that we all need to push ourselves a bit more.
Think about your yard. What do you hope to accomplish in your yard this year? Maybe this is one of the things you should put on your list and check it more than twice.
Think about what you are critical of. Maybe it is in the realm of politics or maybe it is about the behavior of someone you see. Is your criticism valid or are you just critical? Even give some thought to not being as critical of your own family members. Being critical undermines these important relationships. It even undermines your relationship with your own children. Make sure that the comments you make to your children are more positive than negative. If they aren’t, this is certainly something you should resolve to change.
The time to make resolutions is all year long. Don’t make them and forget them. Write them down where you can remind yourself. Don’t make it something for one day of the year. Resolutions are things you want to accomplish. That isn’t one or two things. Think about the many things you would like to put more effort into this coming year and forever.
So forget New Year’s Resolutions. Make everyday resolutions as the need comes up. It will for sure. Don’t wait for one day out the year to solve the year’s problems. It is OK to begin on New Year’s Day but then keep it going.
By the way, my first resolution for the coming year is to turn my columns into the paper on time.
Cynthia Martin is the founder of the First Teacher program and director of Parenting Matters Foundation. Reach Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 681-2250.