Aren’t resolutions a wonderful thing? At the end of a year that may have gone well or not, each stroke of midnight on December 31st signifies a new beginning. A new year is a fresh start. A piece of paper that hasn’t been written on yet. A freshly vacuumed carpet that hasn’t been walked on yet. No mistakes (except perhaps that sloppy drunken kiss you placed on that total stranger at midnight).
I think we all, to a certain extent, tend to make resolutions around the start of a New Year. Even if we don’t write them down, or tell people or blog about it. Unconsciously even, we look at our lives and try to find ways to improve ourselves, our behaviour, often our health and the way we look. We yearn for a fresh start, for a new beginning, a second chance. A tenth chance, or thirtieth. As though we can erase all our bad behaviour and unhealthy eating and lack of a healthy lifestyle with one stroke of the clock and start over again.
So here we are on the 5th of January. For some, this is already the watershed point. For others, maybe a few more days or weeks, possibly even months. How is it that we have so many aspirations and dreams on the 31st of December and here we are, not even a week later, and many of us are saying “well, maybe next year.” Did we forget how excited we felt at the prospect of a new beginning? Did we all of a sudden stop caring, just as quickly as we started?
I think a lot of the time we put too much pressure on ourselves. On New Years Eve I was alone, my husband was working and my son was in bed by 9:30. None of us had been feeling very well, and so I looked forward to relaxing. So I opened a can of Alphagetti, a bottle of wine and curled up in bed to watch Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin Eve. I think it was the first New Years Eve that I have actually been alone and not had anyone to hug and kiss and celebrate with at midnight. It didn’t bother me though, we never have been big on celebrating New Years, so I relaxed and enjoyed the quiet evening.
Being alone though, gave me the opportunity to really think about my New Years Resolutions. On January 2nd I thought I’d tweet them, thinking perhaps that putting them out there into cyberspace would make me more likely to keep them. You can follow me on twitter here.
These are the ones I came up with and whether I’ve kept them or not so far: I’m going to make sure I have breakfast every morning (yes), I’m going to take my vitamins every morning (no), take lunch to work every day (yes), make it the night before (yes), drink more water (yes), less caffeine (no), take more time for reading (yes) and knit more (yes). I’m going to try at least one new recipe each week (the week isn’t over yet), drag my ass out of bed early each morning to give myself extra time to get to work on time (yes).
Then the more important ones: I’m going to be a more patient wife, mother, daughter and friend (that still remains to be seen!)
Also, I am going to perform one random act of kindness (RAK) daily. No matter how small. Even a well placed smile of encouragement can be a good thing. Can be just what someone needs to get through their day.
I got thinking about this. Really, this is the most important one. Yes, the other ones are good, good for me, changes that I should probably be making to my life and should continue to past January and into the years to come.
But to really think about and knowingly and thoughtfully extend kindness to another person just because…not because you’re expecting something in return, or to be praised for it or acknowledged for it, if everyone made that resolution on New Years Eve and actually carried it out not just for January and February, but into next year, and the year after, wouldn’t the world be a much nicer place to live? If everyone made their decisions based on being kind to other people, based their actions, their words on the feelings of other people, Can you imagine how amazing that would be?
That to me sounds like a resolution worth keeping, and worth being renewed every year.
For some ideas and info about RAKs – check out the Random Acts of Kindess Website. It’s a great tool.
Happy New Year to everyone, and may 2011 be a year to remember for you all. Lots of love.