Resolutions worth keeping

A new year has way of inspiring people to “turn over a new leaf” and “wipe the slate clean”.


new Years Resulution List

Posted Friday, January 2, 2014

By Lori Kesinger

A new year has way of inspiring people to “turn over a new leaf” and “wipe the slate clean”. Individuals make promises to themselves. Promises to lose weight, quit smoking, learn something new, eat healthy, get out of debt, spend more time with family, travel to new places, be less stressed, get organized and so on.

According to the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology, only eight percent of people are successful in achieving their resolutions.

Do people just lack self-will or are they lazy? Psychology professor Peter Herman and his colleagues have identified what they call the “false hope syndrome,” which means an individual’s resolution is significantly unrealistic and out of alignment with their internal view of themselves.

The other aspect of failed resolutions lies in cause and effect thought processes. A person may think if they lose weight, or reduce debts, or exercise more, their entire life will change, and when it doesn’t, they get discouraged and revert back to old behaviors.

We can conclude resolutions are simply an attempt to change oneself. What if the focus was placed on others? Would people be more successful in achieving their resolutions if they weren’t just thinking about themselves?

Here are some selfless resolutions to consider:

• “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about,” Wendy Mass noted. People tend to forget kindness shown to another person makes the world a better place.

• Give of yourself not just your money. Take the time and effort to help someone, share your gifts and talents, or volunteer. The old adage it is better to give than to receive still rings true.

• Do not forget to be patient when dealing others. People will not always respond when or how you want them to.

• Be determined to have deliberate joy and change the atmosphere around you. Life is an attitude.

• Build others up instead of tearing them down. “Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?” Marcus Aurelius wrote.

• Do not stir up others to arguments and vain conflicts. Be a peacemaker. • Be humble and do not exalt yourself. No one wants to know a know-it-all.

• Strive to obtain the deep awareness of suffering people. People often hide their pain whether physical or emotional. Hurting people hurt people. Extend compassion to those in need and desire to help them.

• Choose to forgive others. Studies have shown that bitter, angry people have higher blood pressure and heart rate and are more likely to die of heart disease and other illnesses. Feeling bitter interferes with the body’s hormonal and immune systems, according to Carsten Wrosch, an associate professor of psychology at Concordia University in Montreal. Forgiveness is more about you than the other person.

• Love others despite their imperfections. No one is perfect.

Some resolutions are worth keeping throughout the year, everyday.