Monday Notes: A New Way to Create Resolutions for the New Year

Every year since I was about ten-years-old, I’ve made New Year’s resolutions. Goals have ranged from losing a specific amount of weight to attaining jobs in my field. But last year, I resolved differently.

For 2018, I resolved to remember five concepts. I typed them out and hung them on my mirror to recite daily.

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#1: Anything is possible. Instead of being tied to a pre-determined outcome (e.g., I will appear on Jacksonville’s morning show to discuss The Unhappy Wife), I focused on believing that anything is possible. This turned out to be helpful. I had no idea that the editor of an anthology I’m apart of would ask me to represent the book via Tampa’s morning talk show. Nor did I conceive that I would be asked to participate in a book reading in Boston. With this reminder, I was open to any possibility, not just one that I thought was best for me. And it seemed to work.

#2: What you see is a manifestation of your thoughts, beliefs, and emotions. I’d learned long ago that however you feel on the inside will show up in your daily life. If you feel sh*tty, then your home, job, and other activities will reflect sh*tty circumstances. However, two things you absolutely can control are your emotions and your thoughts. With this resolution, I vowed to pay more attention to when I was excited and fulfilled. For example, though presenting my work isn’t new to me, when I attended a national conference in April, I admitted to myself that no matter where I’m employed, I’m a scholar and I enjoy this part of working in the field. Several months later, I was asked to chair a special interest group for a different national conference.

#3: Take nothing personally (AKA Agreement #2). This was the hardest but most useful for me. Many times things will occur and I tend to personalize it as if someone was trying purposefully to hurt my feelings. This surfaced when Dwight and I visited his parents. On their wall, is a six-foot blanketed image of his brother and his family hanging on the living room wall. How could I have personalized this? Well, immediately I was a bit jealous. And with that feeling, I became mad as if his brother intentionally made and sent his own father this gift to not only poo-poo on us, but also to one up our family. I’m not proud of this feeling, but it happened. I talked myself out of these made-up emotions and realized that his brother did what he wanted to do for his father. This had nothing to do with me.

#4: Be positive. This is self-explanatory, I think. But I will add this: Don’t be a Negative Norman. Think positive thoughts prior to entering a situation. I promise this will affect the way you see the actual event. In essence, don’t just hope for the best; actually see the best outcome.

new_year_2019#5: Follow your instinct. My intuition about people and circumstances is very strong. But sometimes I still second-guess those feelings and engage with others whom I should’ve left alone long ago. This resolution reminded me to follow my gut when people showed me who they were, whether it was the umpteenth or the second time. I stopped asking friends and family if they thought the person’s actions were disrespectful or uncalled for. I stopped needing second opinions about how I felt when interacting with others. Instead, I made decisions healthy for me. This resulted in de-friending a former high-school boyfriend from social media, pulling back from a one-sided friendship, and creating clear boundaries with my newfound biological family.

These 2018 resolutions worked best for me and I’ll continue with them in 2019. Nowadays, people tend to denigrate resolutions, but not me. Tell me if you still create resolutions/goals at the beginning or any part of the year. Are they more concrete than what I’ve described? Is this process history for you?

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71 thoughts on “Monday Notes: A New Way to Create Resolutions for the New Year

  1. I still create resolutions/goals Doc. Lately, they’ve centered around evolving spiritually, being more mindful of all that I take in—physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically. Just as trauma takes its toll on us…happiness and peace has to as well.

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  2. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. I so acknowledge you, Kathy for doing it differently. I find #2 especially powerful. At the spiritual psychology program I did, we talked about how limiting beliefs are the basis for our judgments, so doing forgiveness and updating our beliefs can be a powerful game changer.

    Bless you Kathy. I love you. Have an amazing start to your New Year.

    Love,
    Debbie

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    1. Aww! Thanks so much and Happy New Year to you too Debbie! I seek change in my life almost as a rule, so I appreciate you sharing notes from the program about updating beliefs. It’s most definitely important for growth, I think.

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  3. I still do resolutions, though I am more likely to call them goals now. I also do mini-goals throughout the year every month if there’s something specific I want to work on. I’ve found that writing something down that I want–whether I actively work toward it or not–usually winds up coming to fruition. Probably because it’s like speaking it into existence or putting it out into the universe.

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    1. I noticed people doing that…calling them goals instead of resolutions. I don’t see the difference…can you explain? And I agree. There’s something about writing things down that seem to help activate the process.

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      1. I see a resolution as a statement of something you want to do while a goal is a measurable outcome. I mean, they’re probably the exact same but I tend to think of them and therefore approach them differently. I could resolve to go to the gym, but if I make it a goal to go to the gym, I feel like the energy is different.

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  4. For me, it’s more like creating general intentions, along with a list of about 5 major goals, but then I narrowed it down to a word that would carry me in that direction. Last year, the word was “ease”. Need to work on that some more (LOL), but I have also added “joy”

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    1. That sounds like a comprehensive way to ‘ease’ into the new year 😉 Seriously, it sounds like you do it all at the beginning of the year. I tried focusing on “patience” one year. It sorta kinda worked lol

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      1. LOL. It feels more like the foundation for the year is laid the first week and then things spring from that. And, yeah, patience is a tough one, but the meditating helps. Agreement #2 is a doozie too, but better with time. We’re all just growing every day, every minute.

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  5. LOL OMGOODNESS! This made me remember 🎵 back in the day 😉 Goals.
    For example, i used to have a G.O.O.D. (Get Out Of Debt) List. I actually pulled the list! There are three items still on there: pay off student loans, pay off NY&C credit card bill 😂😂😂😂😂 and 100% plan (10/10/80), meaning 10% to God, 10% savings and the rest living expenses. The first two, well, I will probably take to my grave unpaid, no matter how much I try!😂😂😂 The last I start and stop every year. #AworkInProgress😉
    Then, I moved into categories: self-direction, work and leisure, friendship, love and spirituality. All which were surrounding my first book published the year before. Now, fast forward years later, I went out and bought The 365 Happy Planner. I woke up this morning and started putting my thoughts into it! #OneDayAtaTime
    Thanks for the memories!
    Happy 2019 to you 👍

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  6. I love the idea of five concepts and a daily reminder. There’s too much pressure on making measurable goals in a bunch of areas.
    Myself, I set a few intentions and choose a focus word for the year. That approach works for me.

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  7. I still love making resolutions! I don’t make silly promises as I did in childhood. I try to make my resolutions measurable. This year, as I extend my reach and expand my ministry, I will seek to be humbled even more so that I can truly serve rather than being served.

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  8. From 2016 I knew that I was going to retire. Didn’t really plan on 2018 retiring but unforeseen circumstances caused me take an early retirement. After my injury I began painting as a form of therapy. I had been in a few art shows but I was not pushing for exposure. However God planned differently. Only God knew that a month after my August retirement during a routine breakfast at the Daily Press Coffee Shop that my housemate and I would meet the Founders of A Creator’s Collection. After that everything took off. Between October and December 2018 I’ve been in more Art Shows than the previous ten years. God opened doors that I never knew existed. So I shall continue to go with the Flow.

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      1. Over time I’m learning to quiet myself gradually. Listen more to God. Everything happens for a reason. Also things my parents used to say when I was young that didn’t make sense at that time now bring clarification to my life. Perspective changes as you get older. My Mom used to preface any future plans by saying, If I’m living. When I was a child that made no sense to me. In my mind I thought Now why wouldn’t you be living? Where are you going? However now that I’m older and been through numerous health issues I completely understand. So my goal or rather hope is to make it to my 60th Birthday at the End of February. As for the rest of 2019 I will take advantage of all opportunities that God gives me.

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  9. No. I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions years ago because I never keep them.

    I once heard someone say that Resolutions are glorified lies disguised as a promise.

    When I announced my retirement last year everyone asked me if I had plans which to me is a stupid question. Finally I told them that I was going to Coney Island Beach which I did.

    My life is in God’s hands. Whatever is supposed to happen will happen. As the expression goes, Man proposes, God disposes.

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    1. lol – I suppose they’re only “glorified lies disguised as promise” if you never plan to actually actualize them.

      Wishing you peace and prosperity in the new year DeBorah!

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      1. True. Think of All the Gym Memberships that will be begun. Folks start out on Fire then just fizzle out. In the past I’ve been guilty of that. So I learned to save my money. Therefore I don’t make Fitness goals or plans. I know me. No need to waste money.

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  10. Love it, again 🙂 Some focus words I always have each year. Like ‘balance’, ‘patience’ ’embrace positive AND limitations’. 2019 year I will add focus on habits, system/routine and trust: myself, my values, principles, belief-system which will lead subsequently to trust in other areas in my life and thus a meaningful life.

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  11. As I read your list, I felt like you summarized all of my own beliefs and ideals. I think it’s worthy for me to print out. It is concise and right on the mark. I especially love not personalizing things and since adopting that concept a few years ago, I’ve saved myself a lot of needless suffering.
    But my favorite is “anything is possible.” As I continue to “follow my dream,” I think those words are inspirational!!!
    Wishing you a fantastic New Years, Katherin!

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    1. Printing them out really does help me because I see them every day. “Needless suffering” is the key to happiness for sure. I think you’ve learned that anything is possible too Ms. Video for My Fabulous Song Judy ❤

      Hope your new year is as bright as you are!

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  12. Kathy, I love your idea of concepts instead of resolutions and they seem t I have stood you in good stead during the year. Until last year I always wrote a list of resolutions for the new year, and have since about ten … same as you. In 2018 I gave up on that idea … felt a bit bereft without anything of the kind … I may well think of something similar to your idea here!

    Wishing you a fabulous and exciting New Year, Kathy and it’s been a delight to connect with you through blogging! X

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    1. Thanks Annika! This seems to have worked better for me for a lot of reasons. I think an overall concept can support anything else you want to be/do.

      I hope that you have a wonderful new year as well! Happy to call you a blogging friend ❤

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  13. I usually do most of my reflecting and planning on (or around) my birthday. The new age is more significant than the new year for me. But I do some goal planning, set new intentions, decide on my “one little word” at the year’s turn.

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      1. The first year I tried it–2015–really, really worked for me. It worked so well, I still meditate on that one word. Last year was absolutely CRAZY and I was tried in many ways. I didn’t have the energy for 1LW, so I forgot my word because all I needed to do was get through. For 2019, I’m feeling the need for an action verb and a “be” verb. The key for me has been allowing that word to “come” to me, rather than making a point of choosing. Whenever, I choose, I choose the wrong word. Don’t know if that makes sense, but I think you navigate students’ writing, so I’m sure you get it. LOL!

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  14. Excellent advice! I always used to make resolutions. Being a teacher, it would be the first assignment in the new year after winter break, and my personal list would be the example I’d show my students. Plus, the resolutions list expanded into a discussion which lead to a writing session. However, now that I’m in retirement, this year I’m skipping my list. Why? I always tell myself to drop ten pounds, to exercise more, to read more and take more me time to write, or finish projects etc. bla bla bla. I think I’m just going to try to survive the new year. Try my best to survive this horrific President and make it through until he’s either voted out or impeached. My little goals are rather petty in comparison to the resolutions our nation needs to make in healing the divide created by Donald Trump.
    Happy New Year! Here’s to a better future.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Lesley! It sounds as if you were a GREAT teacher. I say this because I love it when teachers scaffold information/assignments because I’m sure this is what makes something stick (e.g., learning occurs).

      LOL I think we all need some survival strategies for another year with Mr. Trump :-/

      Just read about E. Warren’s presidential hopes…we’ll see how America fares as we move forward.

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      1. I’d like to see a combo of Warren and either Cory Booker or Julian Castro. I always thought HRC should have picked Cory B as a running mate. But, yes let’s move forward and hopefully we get a better representation of America to lead us in 2020. I am tired of seeing the same old white men at the helm.

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  15. Great resolutions. NY resolutions are new to me, previously doubting that dark winter months are the best time for them. However, this year I feel the need for positive change. Aside from personal resolutions, I have set some environmental goals for the family, including to reduce plastics.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much! I read somewhere else that it’s counter to dark months to create resolutions. Good luck with reducing plastics. We’ve been trying to do the same and it is no easy feat. If you have any solutions, please share.

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