New Year's Resolutions

Blogs for January

With the New Year comes the inevitable discussion of what transpired this last year and what the New Year will hold. Many people look forward to upcoming events, some recap what happened during the last year, and many of us come up with resolutions for the remainder of the year. Most if not all of these resolutions relate to what we think are shortcomings in ourselves that we wish to improve.


Studies say that 85% of us never make any progress towards our goals. To me that says that we are not approaching this task properly. Do we fail because we really do not have the proper motivation to accomplish these goals; or maybe we are not selecting the correct things that need to be addressed, or are we asking too much of ourselves?

Now I know that many of you will argue with me on this issue; but does your current method work? Mine certainly does not work. What would happen if you took a less self-centered approach and asked your friends and family to suggest your New Year’s resolutions? Think you are up for it? At least they might pick attainable goals. Goals that might make you a little easier to get along with. That translates into more friends and better relationships with family members. Who does not want more friends and a better family environment?

Then there is the added peer pressure to motivate you to accomplish the goal. Nothing causes change like peer pressure from society. In addition to these two benefits, having your friends and family give you suggested areas of personal improvement will come a good dose of humility. A dose of medicine that will likely be rather hard to swallow. How about that; we seem to have already gotten our first benefit from this exercise; humility, and all we had to do is listen. This is not to say that you cannot set your own goals, but the goals suggested by friends and family might be well worth considering.

Why take suggestions from friends and family and not just make up your own? My first question is;

“What makes you think that you know what is the best way to improve yourself?”

You are way too close to the subject matter to be objective in any way.

Isn't society that defines whether our actions and behaviors are good or bad? It is easy for me to “resolve” to lose weight, or watch less TV or read more books. How do these “improvements” help society? They do not help my fellow man at all. At best these resolutions may help me a little. That is assuming that I am able to accomplish any of them. Sadly, my past track record says that I will not. This still is a very self-centered attitude. Wouldn’t it be much more helpful if I had a friend that said, “Quit interrupting other people.” Or, “Stop losing your temper with the baby.” Now I am sure that many of these comments will be hard to hear; very hard. But what better way to make yourself a better person in the eyes of society than to take suggestions for improvement from society.

I suspect that many of the suggested improvements will surprise you. They are probably things that you did not realize needed to be addressed. They will most likely be much simpler and more specific than the improvements you set for yourself, and therefore much easier to attain. I find it much easier to try and not interrupt people than to lose weight. Most of the time we do not realize that we have this particular flaw; or we would have tried to correct it by now. Who will point these issues out to us if not a family member or true friend?

Unlike losing weight, the correction of these flaws will have an immediate and positive effect on your interpersonal relationships. First of all, your friends will be happier with you because of your improvements. Secondly, they will be happy that you thought enough of them to ask their opinion, and then to take their advice. Taking their advice to change your behavior? What a compliment. Thirdly, you will be a better person. Wasn’t that the whole point of this exercise in the first place; self-improvement?

Why not give this a try? What is the worst thing that can happen; you do not accomplish your New Year’s resolutions. I have been doing that for as long as I can remember. Yes, I know a dose of humility will leave a very bad taste in your mouth. But not to worry; just one Lamar’s doughnut will quickly make that taste go away. Well shoot, so much for MY personal resolution.

Written by Tom Herold AKA Tom the Skeptic

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Vialet Rayne of Discover Your Spiritual Gifts created an inclusive and welcoming spiritual center and metaphysical store in historical downtown Littleton, Colorado. Discover Your Spiritual Gifts is a haven for those seeking and teaching spirituality. This sacred sanctuary and loving community exist to heighten our individual and collective consciousness while unearthing and sharing each individual's inner gifts.

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