I don’t make a lot of New Year’s resolutions. I used to and I learned my lesson. The routine went something like this: Make too many resolutions. Set expectations too high. A few months later realize I’m failing. Feel bad. This was not productive so I stopped vowing to do things like lose weight or eat more broccoli or try to be better about remembering friends’ birthdays. (If you’ve been in a similar boat, don’t feel bad, it’s completely normal. Americans constantly overstimate how well they will stick to their New Year’s resolutions.)
No more big resolutions lists for me, thank you. But I do like the idea of having one theme for the year, one thing I’ll try to focus on. I guess you can call that a resolution but one is better than ten, right? So here’s my big theme for 2012:
Appreciate the good stuff more.
Yep, that simple. There is a lot of science that shows when you focus on the good things you have and are grateful for them, you are happier. But you don’t need science to tell you that, just try it. Right now, think about something that is good in your life, big or small. I bet it makes you smile, even if you’re having a bad day.
For example, today I’m having what I call “a day”. It’s a Tuesday post holidays that feels like a really bad Monday and by the time I got into the office a lot of things already went haywire. Plus it’s so freezing out that my cheeks almost fell off as I walked outside (and I’m not a fan of cold to begin with). So you know, not a good day. But if I stop and think, there was something good today: I walked my kiddo to school this morning and during those few minutes I felt like everything was just as it should be. We talked about the cold, the lack of snow (I’m happy, she is not), and whether it is colder on Neptune or Earth right now (she got a planet science kit as a gift and now our house is a constant science quiz zone). The sun was shining, we held hands, and that was the best part of my day.
So there it is, my one an only resolution for 2012, in practice. I hope I can stick with it for the year and I do think it’s helpful to think of it as a theme vs. some specific goal I need to reach.
Do you make New Year’s resolutions? What are some things you’re focusing on this year?