the best new year’s resolution

This time of year coaches and self-help people are in heaven with millions making New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, get in shape, find that special someone or whatever. So much so many people hatch elaborate plans in hopes of achieving these goals. I’ve never been one for spectacular plans. Instead I believe in getting to the root of a situation to either remove or nurture it. Only at this level can success be achieved. The rest, the quick fixes, diet plans, etc. are cosmetic soon discarded or interest faded resulting in feelings of defeat and regret greater than before.

The best New Year’s Resolution!
None. Okay maybe one but it’s not so much a resolution as the decision to forget the quick-fix-take-a- pill-dye-your-hair-fast-diet plan to a better life resolution. A lasting resolution is to live life on your terms. Yeah it sounds cliché but many times the stripped down truth is. I watched my parents now in their 70’s come through a lot mainly because they are rock solid in their approach to life. I’ve witnessed their growth probably as much as they’ve witnessed mine; the youth of their young marriage, the growing pains of parenthood and the responsibility of family and those quiet maturing years that seem to mingle into one another like a slow cooked stew. Through it all they stepped up to what life threw at them whether they were ready or not. Plus in their day there wasn’t the plethora of adverts touting miracles in a bottle or some book. There were family lessons mostly, shaped by the society in which they lived. And although altered some, at the base were basic facts standing the test of time. One was knowing who you are which meant knowing where you came from. This became the soapbox you stood on. A vantage point that if you concentrated enough you could make out the path laid out for you. It might not seem all that attractive initially but if you allowed yourself to examine it you might’ve discovered just how tailored it actually is. For those of us who resisted, ignored or just never took the time to look we eventually arrive at the dusty crossroads to find that same little soapbox, if we’re lucky. My parents never neglected their responsibilities but they also didn’t allow themselves to dissolve into functioning machines although they were setbacks aplenty. They were able to build a future, one that continues today, a successful merger of two separate lives because each had awareness enough of their own happiness to fit the right pieces together. They will tell you they have achieved more than either had ever thought possible. And they remain the two most self assured people I know.

So…
Resolved – Dedicate time (not the rest of my life) to find my happiness. What do I get enjoyment out of? Big on the “I”. Maybe it’s not the politically correct thing to say these days but our relationship with others is shaped by our perception of ourselves. We are at our best when we’re doing what excites us. That should be our focus. My Mother lights up around children. When she’s sharing an idea or teaching them a lesson you can see renewed life in her eyes. That brings her joy and she has embraced it throughout her life. She isn’t a millionaire as a result but she has riches beyond money because of it. And so many children have and continue to benefit from her happiness. Their outlook on life is forever changed due to Mother’s influence which is a reflection of her own perception. This is what makes her happy and in turn inspires her.

Resolved – Follow my life’s path. Stop being distracted by empty roadside billboards. I already have the tools I need to achieve my goals. I am the best person to guide my life. I am the linchpin to my own success and no one can remove the barriers slowing me except me. We put so much into things like resolutions that in doing so we take more advantage of our shortcomings than building upon positive attributes. The goal is clear; it’s the route we map that’s wrong. Instead of using what we are best at many times we ignore or abuse these resources defeating ourselves before we’ve started. Take stock of your skills. Know their value and what they bring to the table; professionally and socially. Then move the stakes out from there establishing a new standard. You will find that in doing so not only has your net worth increased but your world has grown exponentially. This practice has never faded in our family. Even now as an adult when any of us achieves something big we aren’t allowed to just settle into it as the new norm. “What’s next?” soon follows once the celebrations have settled. It isn’t a preoccupation with perfection rather it’s moving on to discover what the next chapter holds. It’s growth. Life is a series of never-ending experiences thankfully. To expect a shortcut or quick-fix is to miss out on life’s richness.

Slim and fit
Resolutions are ripe with disappointment and high expectations yet every year countless people set a new year’s agenda on them. By spring most are abandoned. I caution people I work with to not make these knee jerk decisions. Instead take the time to get to the root of the issue whatever it is before deciding on a course of action. This time of year is an ideal opportunity to review the previous year’s progress and make adjustments if needed. But to expect lasting life altering changes within twelve months or less isn’t practical. Develop a sensible plan focused on specific objectives with measureable benchmarks if you haven’t already done so. Partnering with a coach provides on-going support and structure. Whether you achieve your objective however is dependent upon your level of commitment. Be honest with yourself, be realistic yet understand there is so much more untapped potential within you. We all dream of being that slim and fit model we see but few of us get off the couch long enough to invest in ourselves to try. Here’s to a banner 2015! ~ drexel published Writer and LifeStyle Guy.

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