There are those who greet each New Year with gusto, setting lofty goals, brimming with energy and “up-and-at-’em, Uncle Scooby” enthusiasm about all the things they’re going to do and going to get. Then there are those who REFUSE to set resolutions, telling themselves and others that they exist above the fray, not needing to get caught up in the short-lived hype and emotion that surrounds those particular 24 hours between December 31 and Jan 1. Which camp do you fall into? Or do you fall somewhere in between?Continue reading New Year Resolutions: Beyond Hype, More than Hope
My take on New Year Resolutions
So 2012 is upon us. I love the idea of a New Year. I use the opportunity to review the year past and anticipate the year coming. And yes, I make New Year’s resolutions. I also make New Year wishes. I have never gotten everything that I have wished for, neither have I ever kept all my resolutions. But I have over the years kept some of my resolutions and gotten some of what I have wished for.
I didn’t even need to wait until the end of 2011 to conclude that, all in all, it was a pretty good year for me! I saw my children mature and do well in school. I have a passion for teaching, and despite sending my resumes hither thither and yon, I ended up, almost overnight it seemed, teaching for a term at an institution that I hadn’t applied to! That was a fun and fulfilling experience. I did pretty well on my nine to five too, hitting pretty much all my targets and seeing my team execute (almost!) flawlessly. And last but certainly not least, I finally ditched some major emotional baggage. I forgave myself for some wrong moves that I had made in the past and in so doing, freed myself to give and receive forgiveness. I thank God for who I am.
So in starting 2012, I have a few wishes. Not going to articulate them here…might jinx them! My resolutions are not dramatic, but significant to me and as I progress, I will add to them and modify them as necessary. That’s low stress resolution making for you, and I highly recommend it.
I’ve decided to revert to a low-carb lifestyle. I know a lot of people get very nervous when they hear low- carb, but I’ve done it before and every single thing about my health improved. So here we go again. I will end up losing weight, controlling hormone balances, stabilizing my moods and improving overall well-being. So far, so good- all seven days of 2012!
I’ve also resolved to review my blessings at the end of each day. How this became a resolution is a story in and of itself. Let me back up and start at the beginning of this one. I had remarked aloud that I was going to start a low-carb diet. Marcelle, my colleague on the other side of the divide in our workspace, chimed in that she was planning to do likewise. We began sharing our carb-loving weaknesses, and I confessed that besides rice (oh blessed glorious any kind of rice!) I was fond of munching on salty, crunchy snacks late at night in bed. She suggested that I replace that habit with an herbal tea habit! Now I am not a tea drinker, but the way Marcelle suggested it totally intrigued me. She suggested that I make a ritual of it: get a nice kettle, special mug and create a ceremony of sorts. I thought: why not? So I went looking for caffeine-free, herbal teas and found a great item! It’s a sampler box of fruity, herbal teas…great for a beginner like me who has no idea of what she likes. I started and reported back gleefully to Marcelle. It really is a very soothing and calming thing, this tea making a drinking last thing at night. My ex-husband used to enjoy a cup of tea before bed, and used to beg me to make it for him. I did not. Too much of a production, I thought at the time. Now I know. I told Marcelle the irony of the tea making and a few days later, she came to my desk and said: “Let’s talk”. That was kinda unusual based on our normal type of interaction. I nonetheless replied in surprise: “Sure! Why not!” She asked me if I had ever read “Love Languages”. I replied in the affirmative and said that It is a must read for all people, especially those planning to marry. Had I read it before I got married, I may still have been married today. The book teaches you how to understand your spouse and how to make yourself understood. Great book and I highly recommend it. That lead to me recommending a related book also written by Gary Chapman: “The Five Languages of Apology”. That book showed me that I needed to forgive myself and taught me how to. My colleague seemed genuinely interested in my story of self-forgiveness and she also seemed happy for me. We concluded our talk and we went our separate ways.
A few days later, Marcelle came to my desk again and said that she had a gift for me if I would accept. She showed me a book where each day had a tiny space allotted for listing the things that I am grateful for. She explained that she figured it would be a great addition to my tea ritual. I slowly saw the sense of what she was recommending. There’s a line in one of my favourite movies, “The Matrix” that speaks about how we as human beings “define ourselves by our misery”. So true! I warmed to the idea of ending each day focusing on all that was good in my life. So this past Thursday, I added articulating my gratitude to my tea ritual at the end of each day. My children are now in on the tea drinking ritual and the gratitude giving. To be honest, I had hoped for this to be my thing. But how can I exclude them from something that gives us another opportunity to bond and will hopefully create for them a tradition that they will carry on as they move forward with their own lives?
So there you have it: eating differently, deliberately winding down each night and giving thanks at the end of each day. Like I said, my resolutions this year are not dramatic and I will add and alter as necessary throughout 2012. I think I’m off to a pretty good start.