The last week of the year is arguably the worst time to make New Year resolutions. We’re still recovering from Christmas, but it’s near impossible to rev up our engines because another holiday comes up in just seven days.
Rather than bellyaching about the futility of New Year resolutions, we asked around the Enabling Village team. We’ve put the best ones here.
When things go south, always choose love
Things sometimes work out. Often they don’t. Always demanding our rights seldom ends well: sure, I may get the dish exactly the way I want it, but being snappy to the waiter only gives the meal a bitter aftertaste.
Choosing love doesn’t mean accepting every situation and agreeing to everyone’s demand. It just means more awareness, more deliberate choice of words and action. Sure, our fast-paced urban lifestyle demands otherwise. But we should pause and consider how the other party is also a human being; a father/mother/sibling/friend to someone else; someone just as prone to misjudgements as we are. Let’s not treat every unpleasant incident as evidence that society will rob us clean of our happiness and dignity every chance it gets.
Love also includes self-love: Less blame on ourselves, more self-forgiveness, and more acceptance of our limitations. We could all afford less pride, and more willingness to ask for and to receive help.
Deepen your relationships—just that little bit
You’ve probably read that article about deathbed regrets, about how no one thinks about their career when nearing the end of their lives. (The original is here. And your memory is tricking you: the career bit is really just one of the five bullet points.)
This resolution is about your relationships: your family, your friends. If you haven’t taken stock of your relationships, this week of relative quiet is a great time to do so. Is there any person who has drained more energy from you than necessary? Whom have you neglected recently, but you used to feel close to?
If this sounds like heavy thinking, we’ve a suggestion: You should think of your relationships as projects. You can start small. We don’t have to consider dramatic confrontations, or plan some grand romantic gesture. We can start with friends, with something as simple as calling up a friend we haven’t spoken to for long.
The important thing is to build momentum. If you can improve lesser relationships in a short time, you might gain more confidence, and hopefully feel ready to tackle your more important relationships later in the year.
Learn a new skill
Good grief: stop postponing already. Is there something you’ve always wished you could do, but felt you couldn’t find time for it? This coming year, give it a shot!
Have you only been thinking about it? Stop, and go watch some YouTube tutorials. Have you been just buying cook books and watching lots of Youtube tutorials? Go in the supermarket this weekend, go home and turn your kitchen into a cooking laboratory.
The point is, whatever you have been doing up to this point in time, ante up and take the next step! You’ll be glad—really glad—you did.
Let 2015 be 2015
2015 is past—let it go. All of it.
Do you feel bad about not completing what you set out to do in 2015? Don’t. There’s no point feeling bad about it.
Before you look at last year’s list resolutions with the intent to put them into 2016’s, pause and think. Do you really want set those things as your goals again? Were you too ambitious? Are they still relevant? Are there more important things that you should focus on this year?
You shouldn’t feel the pressure to catch up on thing undone. Let your goals for 2016 be just for 2016. It’s a new year. You should live it like one.