I have heard of many a New Year’s resolution as far back as I can remember. I understand why they are so popular. Most of us will seize every opportunity to get things right. Another precious chance to do things better.
When I was little, I remember a resolution which was encouraged by my parents and grandparents: Listen to and obey your elders. As I entered my teenage years, I resolved to try and give my best to whatever undertaking I set for myself to accomplish. Whether it was to be an effective platoon leader in my high school CAT or Citizenship Army Training (now known as the Citizenship Advancement Training) or at a public speaking competition. Another resolution when I was about to start college or university was to do my best in my studies. I told myself that my fellow Freshmen and I will be coming from different high schools and that we would all be new and on equal footing as we pursued our undergraduate studies. I was firm in my resolve to do well.
In recent years, as age has gently dictated, my contemporaries and I have varying resolutions that center on the same theme of wellness, in body, mind and spirit. I find that the New Year always brings fresh hope and renewed optimism. It puts into focus a reassessment of the habits, good or bad, of the previous year and a rejuvenated commitment towards achieving goals in the year ahead.
Here’s my initial effort in putting pen to paper for my resolutions this 2019: Have less things and share the rest. I declutter things in my home on a regular basis. It is a given that if I do not keep things in check, they will add and pile up in the blink of an eye. For items I have not used in over a year, I know that someone else will have better use for it. I share it with a friend or relative or donate it to my organizations of choice such as St. Vincent de Paul and Caritas.
Regular physical activity. Walking, yoga or whatever your preferred activity may be and doing it for at least 30 minutes twice a week. Make your health goals realistic, the better to set yourself up for success. Slowly but surely, it becomes a way of life.
Try to make time for life-giving relationships. Message, call or catch up with positive people, acquaintances or friends who bring sunshine, laughter or a ray of hope into your life. I want to especially reach out to those who, at one time in our lives, gave me something to smile about but whose present circumstances have caused them to feel down and low. I vow to reconnect with at least one such friend. Arrange more Sunday, weekend or any day of the week meals with family and friends just because I am able to.
Read a bit more. Articles, poetry, inspirational stories, scripture readings, commentaries and books that delight! Pamper myself with quiet and peaceful moments. Silence and simply being in the moment is free and such a calming gift we can give ourselves. Let the world pass you by for a moment or two. It is okay, you are not missing out. You do not always have to rush in and join the noise. Stay in your quiet and peaceful moment, just a little longer each time.
If you feel like jotting down some of these plans, please feel free to do so. I am more than happy to share them with you. If you are inspired to write a list of your own, even better!
Once you have written them down, reflect on them again and see if those look like they will bring you well-being, peace and joy. If the answer is a big yes, then honor and be true to those aspirations. Commit to your aims and faithfully follow through. Remember that the best time to live your new year to the full is right where you are at and RIGHT NOW.