A New Year Plan (Written January 4, 2018)
This year I’ll try a different plan than I have tried before,
Rather than a resolution I will try for something more.
I won’t just stop at naming what it is I aim to do,
But, rather, I will make a plan that I’ll every day renew.
Nothing big or grand or great,
But a goal I can move towards at a steady rate.
I’ll make a plan to weave in simple, little things
So that, when the next New Year’s bell rings,
I won’t find that I gave up or forgot along the way
But, instead, it became a part of my every day.
So, have you made your New Year’s resolution yet? Or, since it has already been a few days, have you failed your New Year’s resolution yet?
I was thinking about this the other day, and sort of laughing at all the “New Year, new me” things. There is no ‘new you’ coming to make everything better just because the calendar year has changed. This is why most people don’t manage to actually keep those New Year resolutions. We make ridiculous resolutions and don’t actually have any plan in place to help us achieve them. Go ahead, buy that gym membership, but have you actually planned to fit it into your normal daily schedule? Do you have a daily schedule? That would probably be the best place to start with any resolution, honestly. You can’t implement a change in your life if you just sort of live through gut reactions. You need some sort of foundation if you want to build anything. Making a realistic schedule would probably make more impact in your life than any other resolution you make. Start by establishing a specific wake up time and bedtime. Try and keep them, within an hour. Establish a morning and bedtime routine. From there move on to try to establish specific times when you eat, and make sure you actually stop to sit down and eat at those times. That’ll probably go a long way to helping you in your diet, too, as well as reducing your stress levels.
Another thing that might help those stress levels, might improve your mental peace, is something to help you remember to be grateful. I’m doing what I call a ‘Pretty Little Jar’ this year. I decorated the jar and got a nice little note pad and pen to go with it. At the end of every day I write down something I was grateful for that day, fold the piece of paper up and write the date on the outside. At the end of the year I will open up the jar and read all the little blessings I received this year. It is a little thing that takes just a few seconds, but it makes me reflect on my day and try to articulate something good about that day, even if it had been rough. At the end of the year, however I thought the year went, I’ll have a jar full of 365 reminders of what went right. (Make the jar pretty and you also end up with a neat little bit of decor. Have it be something that draws your eye and it also serves as a reminder to look for the good things in life.)
For me, that’s the sort of thing that a resolution should be. Something little that you can do in realistic steps and incorporate into your normal life. Then they actually stick and influence how you live. Like people do with learning new languages, putting little bits of vocabulary in the things they use all the time so that, eventually, you are just accustomed to those words. Study every day, for a little bit.
I want to actually improve this year, so this year I have a real plan. I know what I want to achieve and I have a simple, daily, effective way to achieve it. I think that will take me far.