Have you caved yet? Given in to cravings? Slid off the wagon, or just plain cheated on your New Year's resolutions? Not me! I no longer make them.
Like most people, I used to start the New Year determined and optimistic, resolving each January 1st to finally become a better version of myself, only to have my good intentions puddle into guilty regret about two weeks in. Best laid plans were no match for temptation, even after the glut of the holiday season left me swearing off sweets and libations, and lazy vacation days set visions of becoming a more active/healthy/generous/productive person dancing like sugarplums in my delusional little head. Deprivation and discipline? I was ready; bring 'em on! Yeah, right.
Now, instead of setting myself up for imminent failure by making resolutions that are impossible to keep, I make mini promises to myself each day, throughout the day.
This morning I will have less honey in my coffee.
I will eat only veggies today.
I will wash every dish I use right after I use it.
I will spend twenty minutes reading something uplifting instead of scrolling through my news feed.
For every half hour I sit, I will stretch or exercise for ten minutes.
I will write two pages without editing as I go.
I will do something good for myself today.
I will do something selfless....and not tell anyone about it.
I will analyze my own behavior for improvement instead of criticizing someone else.
I will think before I speak.
I will pray about my problems instead of worry about them today.
I will make the better choice.
I will forgive myself.
Little actions like these can snowball quickly into life-changing behaviors. An attitude of "I can do this right now" promotes positivity, whereas making, then breaking resolutions contributes to a feeling of failure and defeat. It is more than just living in the moment; it is being intentional. It is living with purpose.
And isn't that a much more hopeful way to live?