Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve. That time of year when we shed all the bad of the past year and look forward to the good to come in the following year. We make resolutions and keep them for about five seconds. We make plans to be reborn into some amazing, fabulous, formerly skinny person we once knew and loved. But you know what? The new year is just that - a new year. It's the same you! And while it's nice to have a milestone with which to measure your progress or success on a past promise you made to yourself, nothing magical is going to happen this year just because you made a statement on Jan. 1.

For one thing, most people spend the last day of the year staying up until the wee hours drinking too much. Maybe you'll start there. Maybe this year you won't even stay up until midnight, and who cares? What, you're going to miss the ball dropping in Times Square or the fireworks in your city? YouTube it later. Maybe this is your chance to get some sleep. Or perhaps you'll choose not to drink to excess or drink at all. So what? Wine, beer, sparkling can be just as "festive" with a Pepsi.  Maybe tomorrow you'll resolve to get on the treadmill or cut out carbs, or give up your morning latte. Good for you! It's always great to strive toward being healthier, but you can do that any and every day of the year. If you're spending the evening with friends and family, kudos to you. Nothing is more important in life than our relationships with those we love and care about. Oh, and please don't drink and drive! Please!

Instead of a neatly compiled list of things you think you'll do this year (and probably won't), instead of setting yourself up for failure and feeling horrible on Dec. 31 next year because you didn't lose 50 lbs or stop smoking or start a new business or get better grades, maybe you could resolve to not resolve. I am not a fan of New Year's resolutions, because I think you can make changes any old time you want to. And they don't always have to be big goals. Sure, training for a marathon might be someone's cup of tea (me, I'd rather have the cup of tea), but a "new you" in the new year can start with the smallest of intentions and actions.

- once a day, at least, say out loud to someone that you love them
- if you see something that needs to be picked up, cleaned up or put away, just do it
- make your bed. It looks nice and makes the rest of your life seem more organized than it really is.
- use the pretty soap and scented candles. Don't "save them" for something special. Today is special.
- get some exercise. If you hate exercise, just go for a walk. Even ten minutes outside can make you feel a million times better.
- have dessert sometimes
- take a nap whenever you can and don't feel the least bit guilty about it
- if you can afford it, give generously. If you can't, give your time.
- spend some time with a kid and don't rush through it. Really enjoy it without thinking of all the things you need to get done.
- take the time to make your food pretty and eat it off a nice plate. Why rush through eating? Eating is awesome!
- make time to see friends, new and old. Even just an hour over coffee to catch up is a connection.
- entertain at your home. Who cares if it's old or if the carpets need cleaned or your lawn is weedy? Inviting people over makes them feel great. Your friends want to see YOU, not your house.
- pay your bills on time
- don't overspend. Paying off for months what was fun for a few hours, days or week, is never worth it.
- do what you love. Take time to make or do the things you enjoy.
- every day, when you wake up, look at your bedroom ceiling and be grateful for how lucky you are that you have a bed, a home, food, water, friends, a job, school, children, whatever it is you have that feeds your soul.
- if you're hurting, reach out. Ask for help. We're all flawed. Not everyone will judge you. Most people will be happy to share their shortcomings and help you work through yours.
- know that you're amazing. Bask in it. There's only one you and how lucky for everyone who gets to know you!


1 comment:

jeff said...

The hardest part is just doing it. Pick something from the list (whatever list) and do it. Not so simple