Tips to Making Successful New Year's Resolutions
By Sam Johnson
“DURING THE COMING NEW YEAR, resolve to . . .
mend a quarrel... seek out a forgotten friend... dismiss suspicion, and replace it with trust... write a love letter... share some treasure... give a soft answer... encourage youth... manifest your loyalty in word and deed... keep a promise... find the time... forego a grudge... forgive an enemy... listen... apologize if you are wrong... try to understand... flout envy... examine your demands on others... think of your family first... think of your neighbor next... be appreciative... be kinder and gentler... laugh a little... laugh a little more... be deserving of the confidence of others... extend your hand to a stranger and the warmth of your hand to a child... find beauty in all that surrounds you... speak your love... speak it again... speak it still once again....”
The name of the company that produced the card isn’t even stamped on it. But what a nice set of ideas, and how appropriate for the New Year!
I was so taken with the attitude of the Christmas card, that I modified it slightly to work as a set of resolution for the New Year. I offer them to you for your consideration.
This is a curious time of year, this interregnum between the hustle and bustle of the December holidays and the advent of the new year. The pace is different, and the jingle-jangle has dissolved into a quieter tone better suited for reflection.
Perhaps this is why we take time to look back over the past year, remember the highlights, the lowlights, the miracles, the mistakes, and set our sights on the new year ahead, resolving NOT to make the same errors, resolving to move ahead and to better ourselves in some way.
It’s appropria te that we do this, because the New Year is a turning point in our life. It’s a chance to start over.
This time of year has always been a turning point for humanity. For centuries this time of year, the winter solstice, was celebrated as a time of new beginning. This was the time when the sun god was born. At the end of the year’s longest night, the sun’s power began to grow in strength as the days progressed into spring, then summer, and along with it grew man’s hope for prosperous days.
Then, with the advent of Christianity, the sun god was replaced by the son of God whose birth, celebrated at Christmas, also marks a new beginning with the hope of redemption, greater peace, prosperity, and goodwill for all.
I believe it’s this chance at redemption that makes the New Year so important to us. We get the chance to rub out our mistakes; to wipe the slate clean so to speak. We can look back over what we did and didn’t do, take stock of our life and how we’re living it, reevaluate things, then set new goals for ourselves.
We can start the year with a new outlook on life and a new resolve to make things better. And that’s a good thing to do! Everyone deserves a chance to start over.
However, experts say that it’s the application of these intentions that will mark whether or not you will be successful with your New Year’s resolutions and your new start. The trick, they say, is to devise a list of goals, attitudes, and deeds that are specific and easily attained or completed.
Finally, it’s important to write them down and review them periodically throughout the year. Check each one off as you complete it. And, they say not to forget to include resolutions on your list that affect others as well.
Come the end of the year, those are the things you’ll feel best about!
HAPPY NEW YEAR and best wishes for successful resolutions!
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