A few simple substitutions for New Year’s resolutions

It’s a tough call, avoiding the word ‘resolution’ at this time of year — or any year!

It’s a tough call, avoiding the word ‘resolution’ at this time of year — or any year!

I hate old lists of guilt-producing qualities – all of which I could become, if only … !

We will not be the same persons at the end of 2015 as we are today.  To quote Charles F. Kettering: “Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress.”

Nic Vardalos expressed both our hopes and our frustration when he said, “My New Year’s Resolution List usually starts with the desire to lose between ten and three thousand pounds.”

So, in place of the ‘R’ word, perhaps I will cautiously offer approaches that might last longer than a month, day, week, or hour.  Alternates that might be titled New Year’s Substitutions.

1.) Progress not Perfection: Most of my past goals have been of the ‘do’ or ‘don’t do’ variety. A set-up for instant failure — and fail I did. Directional approaches are now my favourites — and those in my home circle love them, too. Doing better is more within reach than doing it right. And far more likely to reap results.

2.) The Inside tops Outside: A new look for 2015? New style? Or new character. If I improve my core integrity, all the exteriors will take their proper place, if they are seen at all.

3.) Balance over Achievement: Rather than committing to two hours on the treadmill at 3 a.m., could I take a brief look at where I’m out-of-balance? Where is my weakest area? Physical health, mental attitude, social relationships, spiritual investment? That might tell me where to start. But please don’t tell me about food-freaks unless they exercise, or spiritual devotees who couldn’t care less about others. More out-of-balance is not what I need.

If I’m short on the physical, perhaps I might gradually introduce a new longevity habit, like eating more ‘fresh.’

If my Mental Habits are weak, could I consider reducing my negative comments? Social? Who doesn’t know someone who needs a friend! And the Spiritual category waits for me to develop a relationship instead of another list of behaviours.

4.) Above all, Keep Pedalling: Continuing to pedal is the only way I know to outpace what bugs me about myself, avoid becoming a victim, and change my scenery permanently. G.K. Chesterton expounds that the object of a New Year is “not that we should have a new year, but rather that we should have a new soul.”

Akhenaton offered, “He who gave thee a Soul, armed thee with resolution. Employ it, and thou art wise; be wise and thou art happy.”

Simply, resolution is determination. Perhaps then I can eventually become the person I wish those irritating others to be.

Of course, that still sounds like a list, so I will just let Charles Lamb close with the thought that “New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday.”

I wish each of you a full and fulfilling year of Living OutLoud.

LOL@wltribune.com.

Rita Corbett is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.

 

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