When was the last time you made a New Year’s resolution you actually kept?
Think about it. And be honest. What resolution have you made in, say, the last five years that you’ve actually seen all the way through?
If you’re anything like me, you’re stuttering, trying to come up with one. Because the resolutions we make for ourselves are all wrong. They are large and lofty – usually things like losing a ton of weight, working out an obscene amount each week, or learning a foreign language when we have zero time to study.
There’s little chance we can keep resolutions like these. We may have the best of intentions until life gets in the way – which it always does. And when we break that resolution less than a week into January, we start the new year with failure. This is why I hate making New Year’s resolutions. Being a failure is the pits. But I set myself up for it, year after year.
Not this year. This year I’m being real.
That’s my first resolution. I’m choosing to achieve progress, rather than perfection – like cutting back on diet soda, adding five minutes to my work-out on weekends alone, and each week calling a friend with whom I haven’t talked in too long a time. I can do these things. They’re totally attainable, and they make me a better person.
There’s something else I’d like to do. Somehow, we Americans have become a population of ugly words and accusations. But this country was founded on the concept of e pluribus unum — out of many, one. We need to restore this concept to our credo. So, if you’re looking for a resolution that is do-able, consider this:
Please join me in resolving to speak more gently, to hear more keenly, and to reach out with greater compassion. We can do this. Failure isn’t an option.