My Take on New Year’s Resolutions

1 01 2011

Everywhere I look today I see something about New Year’s Resolutions (NYR).  I read somewhere that the number one NYR is to lose weight.  In no particular order the other top NYR are changing jobs, getting out of debt and getting a divorce/breaking up.  I think I see a common theme here.  It seems to me that most NYR have to do with correcting a self-induced negative condition or dealing with the results of a bad decision.  There’s nothing wrong with that but what about making resolutions to continue or increase some sort of positive behavior?  I guess that suggestion makes an assumption that people are already engaged in at least some sort of positive or selfless behavior.

On a personal level, I have contemplated making NYR over the years but quickly talked myself out of them.  It seems to me that classifying something as a NYR is putting unnecessary pressure on myself and a case of hyper-guilt if sometime in January or February I fall off the wagon.

What makes more sense to me at this time of year is to assess my life in as objective a manner as possible, I realize that introspection is not objective at all, but what are you going to do? Lord Polonius’ advice to Laertes is one of the most difficult challenges that a person can undertake.  Regardless, it does make sense to make a list, either mentally or physically, of all the things you do in your life that bring about positive results and all the things you do in your life that bring about negative results.  I think a person should resolve to improve on his or her strengths and attempt to diminish the weaknesses.

For me specifically, I plan to continue exercising and to increase the amount of exercise I do now.  I also want to continue thinking before I eat.  Not only do I want to consider the quantity of food I take in but also the quality of food I consume.  I want to continue and to increase raising much of our own food and continue to seek out new sources for non-processed food and grass-fed/free range meat.

I resolve to spend more time with my wife doing things that we can enjoy and building lifelong memories.  Traveling and taking classes in everything from Tai Chi to Cajun Cooking in New Orleans to sailing classes on Lake Michigan are but a few of the specifics I want us to experience together over the next year. Probably watching the sunset in Key West as we drink our gin-and-tonics is also in the 2011 forecast.

Speaking of my wife, I want to do more in the way of my actions to let her know how much I value and love her; nothing special or dramatic, just little everyday things.

I plan to continue working towards being a valuable source of advice, wisdom and support for my kids and their families.

Finally, I intend to get involved in some sort of child advocacy program as a volunteer.  I realize that my experience and talents might really make a difference in my community.

I hope by focusing of doing more positive things in my life that it will, in turn, help to balance the ledger against some of my weaknesses and relatively make them less of a factor in my life.

A while back a buddy of mine sent me this little ditty and I think it demonstrates just how important focusing on doing positive things in one’s life can be.

-gw-

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6 responses

8 01 2011
james

cool

8 01 2011
gw

James:

Thanks for reading my blog.

I almost did not post this one because I thought it might come across a bit self-righteous.

I’m glad I did post it, though.

-gw-

9 01 2011
Jack

I am not big on NYR for anything. I don’t like making promises that I am not sure that I can keep. It may be a game of semantics, but I tend to just adopt changes that I want. No fanfare, no noise.

9 01 2011
gw

Jack:

You and I are on the same page about NYR. In fact, that is why I hesitated to publish it in the first place. Although I do see some benefit for “going on the record” as committing to improve. I hate it when I have to eat my words. I chose to make resolutions that I thought I could/would keep because of the drive I have to become a better person.

Just food for thought.

Thanks for reading my blog.

-gw-

10 01 2011
Jack

That essay was good- I enjoyed it.

10 01 2011
gw

I think what I like most about the essay was the subtle symbolism for generations like the change in the lane from three lines to two and the chill of the cold swim trunks in the groin.

I’m glad you liked it.

-gw-

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