I love this time of the year…a new beginning….an opportunity to do things differently. Apparently, I am not alone. Gym memberships increase; attics and closets are cleaned and resolutions are made in hopes of better results in the New Year. We see possibilities that the future could bring if we could only stick to our plans and make them.
Where does the most effective change begin? Circumstances may be beyond our control, but how we face them is not. We still have a choice. Will we be broken or strengthened? Will we use positive coping mechanisms or destructive? Will we play the blame game or accept responsibility for improving the circumstances? Will we add to the problem or become part of the solution? It’s our choice.
“Setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular, overwhelming goal on January 1 can help you reach whatever it is you strive for,” says psychologist Lynn Bufka, PhD. “Remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time.”
It’s a daily thing and that’s the hard part. If one right decision would stick forever, we’d experience an overwhelming amount of success. But every day we are faced with choosing to do what is right. Every day we discipline ourselves to eat less and move more; to listen more and talk less. There are self-help books of value, workshops and 12 step programs galore, yet it remains a real challenge to change! Still, the choice is ours. That’s the long and short of it.
I do not wish for prosperity, success, awards or status for this New Year. Instead, I hope the New Year will bring opportunities to learn patience, kindness, love, joy, goodness, self-control and peace. Regardless of my circumstances, I want my character to improve.
Hope your New Year is filled with challenges and productive solutions!