Happy New Year! This is the time when many people make resolutions that we do our best to keep as we go through the year.
I’m not one of those people.
There are a number of reasons for that. To begin with, I’m not very good at thinking up good resolutions. What good is a resolution that isn’t great to begin with? Second, I’m not very good at keeping resolutions when I make them. It’s not that I don’t make headway toward my promise to lose weight, exercise more, etc. In fact, even if I do make headway, I’m not good at closure. I always think that there’s more to do, so I can’t even let myself feel good about keeping my resolution. And that’s when I’m really good at keeping my resolutions.
Instead, I’ve tried to come up with a few simple ideals at the beginning of the year. Then I try to remember them throughout the year, and review how I did at the end of the year. Does that make sense? I guess you could still call them resolutions, but that wouldn’t feel right to me.
So here are a few defining ideals that I hope to remember throughout 2013:
- Be a better person
That’s a pretty big umbrella to stand under. It means a lot of things to me. It means remembering birthdays and anniversaries. It means asking people how they’re doing. It means smiling more and groaning less and opening myself up to new ideas. I love new ideas, so that part’s easy. It means looking for the good in people instead of remaining a cynic searching for the dark side of someone’s personality. I’ve gotta keep reminding myself of that last part, but I think I can do it.
- Do good things for people who need something
No matter how little we have, it always seems like there is someone who has less. I want to help that person. With a meal, with a handshake. By shoveling snow or mowing the grass or raking leaves for a neighbor who’s under the weather. By supporting worthy causes, like JDRF and ADA and others (some of you know who I mean). By participating in walks and rides and runs that benefit some of these causes and bring together like-minded individuals who also want to make a difference. By giving ‘til it hurts, but in a completely unnoticed way because giving is most meaningful when it’s anonymous.
- Be as healthy and as active as possible
This is a more recent ideal for me. Simply put, I can’t help others as well as I would like if I’m always worried about how much getting older sucks. So I’m going to be as active as I can. I have four athletic goals in mind—more on that at another time. And I really mean it this time when I say I’m going to check in with my eye doctor and my podiatrist, who haven’t seen me in almost two years.
So mostly, my goals are the same as every year: To feel good and do good. And to never stop. What does your ideal 2013 self look like?