I’ve never liked the idea of making New Year’s Resolutions. It’s not so much the concept behind it, but more so the negativity associated with making them. When you think of committing to the annual New Year’s Resolution, what comes to mind? For me, I immediately think of all the jokes about failed resolutions that poke fun at the misery, struggle and imminent defeat. Doesn’t sound all that funny, though, does it? Most likely because there’s so much truth to them. Not exactly the type of encouragement that’s going to enthusiastically propel me into commitment-hood!
So instead of a ‘resolution’, how about some helpful tips for simply improving your good ole’ regular livin’ which will get your New Year off on the right foot and keep it that way? Simple ideas for a new ‘real life’ PARADIGM; ideas you’ll enjoy so much that they’ll just become second nature and you won’t feel guilty passing on the ‘forced resolution’ bit.
Plan date nights and make them a priority – not just with your spouse, but schedule in your kids too! Plan it, put it on the calendar and do it!
Accept what you can’t change, and work within God’s will for the choices that are within your control.
Recycle – Not just your papers and plastics, but in all areas of your life. Trade clothes with friends, get your next dog from the shelter and check out consignment stores for an upcoming furniture purchase. We have enough stuff on this earth as it is, so not only will you save a ton of money, but you’ll tap into resources already on hand.
Appreciate each day. Take a look around. Seriously, stop and stare. We are surrounded by beauty and blessings….flowers that bloom, birds that fly and air we can breathe. It’s all pretty incredible and we should take none of it for granted.
Ditch the credit cards – and not only cut em’ up, but pay em’ off! Rid yourself of this financial bondage.
Insist on wiggle room in your schedule. It’s tempting to use up every second, and perhaps unusual not to have every minute spoken for, but resist this urge and occasionally leave gaping holes in your day. You’ll be AMAZED at what can happen. Just try it.
Give of your time – somewhere, somehow. Keep score for your child’s baseball team, participate in the school PTA club, offer to greet for your church’s weekend services, be a ‘hand holder’ in your local hospice facility, etc. There’s no shortage of needs, so tap into your interest areas and seek them out.
Mail a letter or card to someone you miss…or are proud of…or just love. Not an e-card or a text, but an actual piece of paper in an envelope with a stamp on it. These small treasures in our mailbox can mean big stuff to our hearts.
Did you notice all the words that form PARADIGM are action words? This is no coincidence! Change takes action! A good idea will remain only that, JUST a good idea, unless you put action behind it.
Are YOU getting the idea? Don’t lock yourself into just one, narrow focus. Sure, if you need to lose weight, I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t resolve to make it happen, but beyond that I’m encouraging a permanent shift in your overall paradigm. A difference in the way you live, love and navigate through each day. Life is too short, or long as my husband says, to be miserable or waste time. Sometimes the small things can mean so very much, and with a little effort and motivation, your heart can be fuller, your smile wider and your outlook a whole lot brighter.
Forget just 2013…Welcome to the rest of your glorious life!