What are your New Year's resolutions?
Every year, millions of American’s make New Year’s resolutions. They range from the personal (lose weight, hit the gym or learn to dance) to the professional (start my own business, get a different job or be nicer to co-workers) and often involve family, friends and colleagues.
The problem is, by the end of the first month, many resolutions tend to get broken, or at best, severely bent.
For years I diligently made resolutions like everyone else. Some of them I’ve been able to keep while others fell by the wayside. Fortunately, I’ve been able to keep the resolution about quitting smoking and have been smoke-free for more than three years.
I have to admit, though, I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions. When a resolution gets broken, the person who made it tends to get angry with themselves that they couldn’t make it work. They beat themselves up and get depressed that they broke one of the resolutions they made hoping to make themselves a better person. I’ve even heard people say they are a failure because they couldn’t keep a simple New Year’s resolution.
Who needs that kind of aggravation?
To me, resolutions shouldn’t be something to stress about. Rather, they should be a way to practice a little self-reflection and identify ways we can be a better person, friend, family member or co-worker. I look at them as guidelines, not commandments.
So this year, my resolution for 2014 is to not make resolutions. Instead, I’m going to make “I’d like to” statements. As in, “I’d like to be more helpful to others.”
“I’d like to take on new projects at work.”
“I’d like to lose weight.”
Or, “I’d like to have more date nights with my wife.”
By looking at things as an “I’d like to,” I give myself a little wiggle room. If I have some junk food watching a movie with my wife, I won’t think of myself as a failure and feel guilty about it.
What about you? What would you like to do this year?