It’s January 21st. How are you doing with your New Year’s resolution? I love the beginning of each new year. Fresh starts, positive changes and the chance to start over are good for the soul. Whether you want to improve your health, your job situation or an important relationship, there is no time like January 1st to jump right in and do it… right? I wonder though, what is it about a date on the calendar that motivates us? We could start being better wives and husbands any day of the year, or start eating healthy on a Thursday…but we usually don’t. History tells us that we have been making resolutions for more than 4,000 years and recent statistics indicate that while 40% of people make New Year’s resolutions, about 88% fail to keep them. What does all of this mean? Maybe it means that we’re making the wrong kind of resolutions. Instead of making resolutions about us, let’s try some resolutions about others and see if the success rate goes up. Feel free to ditch your original resolution and try one of these instead:
1. Stay Present When People Give You Their Time:
Truly be there and actively listen. Whether it’s family, a friend or a stranger in line at Target, take the time to listen. Everyone is a teacher, and if we’re checking our iPhones, worrying about a promotion or preparing our next responses, we miss the magic. Being present in every moment allows surprises to appear, unexpressed sentiments to unfold and possibilities for a deeper connection — on both sides.
2. Give Your Time to Benefit Others:
Invest some time, every month, in doing something that helps somebody else. If you’re not sure where to start, check out the list of non-profits in town…there are hundreds of places that would love your time! You will meet people you may have otherwise never known and learn lessons that can only be learned through the art of volunteering. This is where you’ll find some real joy.
3. Be Authentic With Others:
Our society urges us to impress people with how perfect our lives are, how we’ve got it all together and how we never struggle with identity, pain or meaning. Just look at today’s posts on Facebook, if you don’t believe me. Being authentic and raw with our wounds, however, is downright courageous. When we show up as who are, others can do the same. It’s in that openhearted space where miracles blossom.