Each year when the clock strikes midnight, we stand up and smile. We may be surrounded by family and friends, we may be alone or we may be quietly sitting at home with loved ones. But it is almost always a moment that we mark with something, a kiss, a hug, a smile, a promise. It’s the last one I want to talk about today. The promises we so often make when the clock hits 12.
We make New Years resolutions as a promise to be better – a public statement to change something. We choose things like “to eat healthier”, “to drink less”, “to exercise more”, “to finally retire” and the likes. Just small changes of self improvement that make a difference to who we are.
Now I have no problem, with wanting to be better, healthier and happier. I have a problem with our motives. Why do our resolutions never stick? Because we we make them out of necessity. “What is your New Years resolution?” is a sentence all too common in conversation on the 31st. We don’t ask “What is your resolution” every month and we certainly don’t do it every day, so when it comes time to declare our promise, we aren’t saying it from the heart and we’re saying it because it is the right thing to do.
The other issue with the New Years resolution is that we make them about our own self improvement – this is totally fine. It is a great thing to do. But what about the big picture? Why don’t we make our New Years resolutions for the greater good of the world? Why don’t we make promises about volunteering our time somewhere or giving time to a not for profit?
And then there is the big one that gets me more than anything. If everyone made a conceited effort to change this about themselves, the world would be a much happier, brighter and optimistic place. Our attitude. If everyone decided that every day they were going to take one positive and good thing that happened and write it down, then we’d face one massive attitude shift. In a world where our media reports on the bad, where there is a new tragedy unfolding around the globe every week, we need to look for the brighter things.
So I believe that the traditional New Years resolution needs to go. I think that we can together, create a happier, more positive and more uplifting world by making the promise at midnight to ourselves for the right reasons, about the right things.
And the recipe for the anti New Years Resolution is simple…
1. Make it for the right reasons. Not because you have to make a promise at midnight. But because you truly in your heart want the world to change.
2. Make it for the social good of the world – not just yourself. By doing something to contribute to others, you will be growing inside, as a person yourself.
3. Make a change to the part of the world that needs it most – our attitudes. Make a promise to be positive and live a life without negativity.
I believe that our New Years resolutions shouldn’t be trivial, they should be meaningful. So today I’m sharing mine with you.
My anti New Years resolution is to smile more, coordinate a community garden project in my neighbourhood and to write down something good every single day, bottle them in a jar and read them with a smile on my face and renewed positivity at the end of 2015. I believe that these promises won’t make me thin, they won’t make me enjoy a glass of wine less, but they will make me a better person and a better contributor to this world, and that is what it needs.
So today I ask you, what is your anti New Years resolution? What are the promises you make tonight going to be? Share your thoughts in the comments below…