It seems as if everyone writes about making resolution at the start of the New Year. While I didn’t want to join the club – I was intrigued by the idea that people make a written or verbal declaration about their decision to engage in some new behavior. It makes sense for me to look back on those promises I made that I kept and what made them different from the ones that got lost in the shuffle.
- Biting My Nails – My younger self was in the habit of biting my nails. The more nervous or idle my hands were, the more I ruined the appearance of my fingers. This stopped when my father gave me his mother’s garnet ring on my 16th birthday. I loved the ring and hated when people demanded to see it. The biting stopped.
- Sunscreen – My perception is that I look better with some color in my complexion. My eyes look brighter and my teeth look whiter. The diagnoses of skin cancer on a routine freckle-check saved my life and changed my life. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats are now part of my life. Do I look dorky? Sometimes – But I can live (literally) with that.
- Friends vs. TV – I always felt badly when friends put watching television ahead of our relationship. After one particularly stinging rebuke from someone who asked me never to call during a favorite and important show, I resolved never to let TV be more important than the important people in my life. DVR has made this even easier for me now.
- Condolences – I wasn’t bad about paying condolence calls or sending cards when someone had a death in their family. When my parents died, I found that the reminiscences that others shared about my folks provided a gift of warm comfort. I decided that in the future, I would make sure to reach out and do the same for others.
There are more – but you get the idea. The resolutions I make and keep have to do with something that truly changes how I think about something. It can be true that if you change a behavior your heart and mind will follow but you have a better chance of making genuine, sustainable change when your mind and heart shift first.