New year’s resolutions are so…last year!

As the champagne popped and the ball dropped on 2018, did you shun the kiss to instead make a list of the crucial life overhaul occurring in 3…2…1…?

This year I must:

  • Lose weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Drink less
  • Exercise more
  • Go to church
  • Stick to a budget

Rather than reflecting on the accomplishments of the past 365 days, your head is spinning with a rambling readout of every vice, bad habit, and impure thought you ever had (and more importantly) must eradicate over the next 12 months. Not only is this improbable - and the recipe for a seriously dull existence – but it’s also a horrible barometer of success.

Now, no one is saying you shouldn’t quit smoking or stick to a budget, but declaring you’ll do so because the date changed might set you up to fail. This year, instead of focusing on what’s “wrong with you” and ways in which you’ll “get fixed;” plan for some positive personal growth.

Make 2019 a Grew Year

The problem with resolutions is they’re finite and inflexible. If you resolve to lose weight and you don’t, you failed. If you resolve to attend church every Sunday and you miss one, you’re a loser. It’s too black and white, one misstep and you’ve broken the promise you made to yourself – and its only January 7th. You have to wait 51 more weeks to try again. Sorry. This year is different, though, because this year you’re simply going to:

Practice Moderation

Instead of pining away for your youth, relish in the fact that you’re GROWN and the boss of yourself! Laugh lines and grey hair are a badge of honor and give you the go-ahead to bend the rules…a bit.

Resolution (No! Never!) Growth (Moderation)
No sugar, no fat, no carbs Cheat day once a week
No alcohol Glass of wine twice a week
Church every Sunday Sleep in once a month
No shopping Sale item once a month
Run every day Walk three times a week

Take A Risk

Resolutions are almost always about giving up something. This year, you’re going to add something to your life - something scary, challenging, or you’ve dreamed of trying - but haven’t let yourself. Maybe you’ve always wanted to be a standup comedian but are terrified of bombing. Find an amateur night and DO IT. Yes, you might slink out afterward in embarrassment, but you did it and you should be proud! Travel alone, join a dating site, try sushi, skydive – big or small – THIS is the year.

Be Grateful

People are rude, things are expensive, work is hard, life isn’t fair…we spend so much time and energy complaining, whining and lamenting about what we don’t have; it’s a wonder there’s anytime left to smoke, drink, and sleep in on Sunday! Being grateful for all we do have – health, love, friendship, pets, a job, family, freedom – takes a concerted shift in thinking, and a bit of practice, but is pivotal to personal growth. Being thankful (to God, the universe, mother nature, your fellow man) doesn’t require verbalizing your gratitude, long prayers, or countless hours of meditation (though all of those are lovely) it simply requires taking a little time each day to recognize your blessings. Not only will it bring a feeling of peace, but true gratitude tends to attract even more abundance.

 Learn from Your Mistakes

The truth is, we learn more from our losses than our wins. Every mistake is a golden opportunity to learn something. What went wrong? Why did it happen? How can it be prevented in the future? Analyze your errors and you may find a better way of doing things or a solution to a problem you didn’t even know existed. Owning up to a mistake shows you’re gracious, honest, and willing to make amends and that’s the stuff personal growth is made of.

As you go through this new year, remember to acknowledge your accomplishments. Strive for success but aim for personal growth. Mistakes are only failures if you don’t learn from them. And a little ice cream every night is not a mortal sin. When the clock strikes midnight in 2020, don’t resolve – reflect – it’s a happy new year because 2019 was a grew year!

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