This archived article was written by: Lisa Anderson
When the clock struck midnight on December 31, a new year began. Across the country people spoke, making resolutions that would hopefully change the upcoming year. People promised to lose weight, get a better job, spend more time with their family, or take that trip they always wanted to. Others swore they would become millionaires, be kinder to others, learn a new language, or somehow vastly improve themselves. When will people realize that not all resolutions have to be big or perfect?
By the end of January, most people will probably give up on their New Year’s Eve resolutions. Instead of giving themselves an entire year to try, they find it easier to give up on their goal and wait for the next year. For the next 11 months they will trudge through life, promising that next year things will get better, that next year they will change.
Instead of focusing on a large goal, why not try a small one? You don’t have to vastly improve yourself, a small change or two can have just as big an impact. Before December rolls around, stop a moment and seriously consider a promise or two you know you can handle. Try losing five pounds instead of 25, or focus on getting a small promotion at your current job instead of quitting in the hopes of finding something better.
When making promises to yourself, you need to remember who you are. Some people can afford to resolve to buy that new house or car. Others will be happy if they can pay all their bills on time. Try not to let the words of others force you into making resolutions you know you can’t keep. Instead pick a small and personal promise that truly matters. If you spend your entire life trying to meet the promises of others, not only can it become impossible, but you just might lose the things that make you who you are along the way.
When New Year’s Eve 2005 arrives, hopefully more people raise a toast to themselves and resolve to only make promises they can keep. As a final thought, I leave you with my New Year’s resolution. “To friends gone and yet to come, to mistakes made and help given. Here’s hoping the next year isn’t a revolution or a new start, but simply one smidgen better. I hope it is one more year to live, mess up, meet one new person, try one new thing, and maybe learn something.”