New Years ---- the time for best made resolutions that often don't last the month. What is it about resolutions that trip us up year after year? How many times have you made a New Year's resolution and actually kept it? If you said more than once, good for you! If you said zero, you're not alone!
Resolutions are often very specific - "I'm going to lose weight, I'm going to save money this year, I'm going to stop smoking". And most resolutions require great effort to keep, otherwise they wouldn't be resolutions.
VERY SPECIFIC + GREAT EFFORT = DOOMED RESOLUTION
You must think I'm crazy, right? Hear me out.
Let's take the weight resolution. It's a resolution I've made myself year after year. I always start out great and then I fizzle out - fast. Why? I didn't see the results I wanted quick enough, or my schedule got too busy to go to the gym or make healthy meals. Really any number of excuses.
Okay, so now what?
My resolution was to lose weight. I'm a few months into the year and it's not happening. Heck, I might have even forgotten that it was a New Year's resolution in the first place. So now it's life as usual, that's what. It's me saying "I'll try again later or next year".
A specific resolution leaves you no where to go if you fail. If you don't lose weight then you haven't achieved your resolution. End of story. And even worse, you're making a mental chalk mark on the failure side of the failure/success board of your psyche. That's not so great either.
Instead of making a resolution make a commitment instead! Resolutions are made to be broken but commitments are better kept! And make your commitments realistic. Here's the difference:
Resolution: "I will lose weight this year." "I'm going to stop smoking this year."
Commitment: "I'm committed to taking better care of myself this year."
Resolution: "I will save money this year."
Commitment: "I'm committed to making better financial decisions this year."
Do you see the difference? When you make a realistic commitment to yourself, you're setting yourself up to succeed. It gives you options. Taking care of your self might start out as making healthier meal choices when you eat out. It might evolve into getting that mammogram you've been skipping the last few years. Your committment may see several evolutions through out the year and that's okay!
The important part is that you have an abundance of choices that you can make to take care better care of yourself. If you don't succeed at one, try another. Success!
If I may be so humble as to suggest a 2017 New Year's commitment -- make the commitment to incorporate philanthropy (charity) into your life this year. Find a cause that your passionate about - clean water, homelessness, breast cancer, for example, and commit to getting involved!
Give your time, give your expertise, and/or give your financial support. Give in a way that is meaningful to you and helps others. It will be one commitment this year you'll be happy you made!
If you're looking for a charity to call home, For 3 Sisters is always looking for people who are eager to incorporate philanthropy into their lives. We'd love to help you with your 2017 philanthropy commitment!
Wishing you peace, joy, happiness and good health for 2017!
Shannon Moneymaker is the Executive Director of F3S and experiences life in the breast cancer community, not through just her own eyes but through the eyes of others.