There was a time when I only made one resolution every year, and it was Resolution #1 last year, just like it will be this year.
The problem with actually going back and looking at last year’s resolutions is that it’s mentally easier to focus on where you failed or performed badly than it is to think about the successes. And with the first three, I can’t be an objective judge because the resolutions were intended as continued behavior modification in order to improve not just myself, but the lives of the people around me.
But to Review:
Resolution #1: Be better at the husband and father thing.
This is my top thing every year, and the only resolution I used to make. Think about family first, always. This is surprisingly easy to do, but harder to act on. It’s a matter of making sure that what’s best for the family as a whole is in your mind when it comes to each and every decision. I’m human. I make mistakes, but I’d like to think I get a little bit better at this every year. My family will judge this better than I possibly can.
Because for me it’s so easy to remember the times I got sidetracked or distracted and screwed something up.
Resolution #2: Be kind.
This is hard. It’s easy to let your emotions run loose and a lot harder to control them. Some days I’m far better controlling them than others. Stress levels are critical. If $hit is going down, it’s easier to be grouchy, and a hard trick to not be.
The thing that I hate most about myself is that it’s somehow easier to control my reactions around people I have to interact with professionally or in public than it is with family. With family, you can let your guard down easier, which isn’t the same way of saying that you should. They also have more practice at finding your buttons.
But it’s a simple idea overall: consider what other living creatures need and want and appreciate, and try to provide more of that than you did yesterday. Perfection is impossible, but it’s a goal.
Resolution #3: Be polite.
Paired with “Be kind”, this is supposed to be a mantra for me. For both, it’s easier to look back on failures this year than successes, but if I’m honest, I think I’m mostly a good influence. I set a high expectation for the people around me on politeness, especially my teenagers, and I mostly get it.
That makes me happy.
Resolution #4: Read more.
I’ve done okay with this in the past twelve months, if not exactly how I originally expected. I haven’t read as many books as I wanted to, but I’ve done a lot of research reading of articles, online and otherwise, and I’ve taken my X-Men re-read into 2003.
I’m happy with how much I’ve read this year, and have a different challenge or two in mind for 2015.
Resolution #5: Think more.
My basic logic comes from Douglas Adams. Observed in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: “If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, their brains start working.”
The more you think about things before you say them, the less likely you are to say something stupid. You can overthink, and I do.
Probably, I’ve overthought my resolutions for both last year and this year (still to come), but that’s part of who I am.
Happy new year, and be well, everyone.by