It is December 31st. I am sitting on my couch watching football. My husband sits across from me and my son is beside me. The older girls are out with friends. It’s bitter cold out so all the cats are in to keep warm. I have been on vacation all week so I have had little motivation and ate way too much, making me feel super fat. But I keep telling myself that it is ok because in 6 hours it will be a new year with new beginnings. (As I type this I am crushing an awesome PB&J.)
Are you like me when it comes to the start of the new year? Do you feel fresh and ready to conquer the world? Like a magical fairy waves her wand at the stroke of twelve and all the woes and troubles of 2017 disappear. If only it were that easy.
There are far far better things ahead than any we leave behind. – C.S. Lewis
When I wake up in the morning to the dawn of a new year I am still going to have debt to deal with. My good friend will still have cancer and take chemo. I am still going to feel fat and miserable. The Broncos are still going to suck. I will still have to go back to work on Tuesday. My inbox will still be full of unanswered messages. And while I am eating cheeseballs, I will be thinking about joining the gym.
I did a little research on the birth of New Year’s resolutions. And what I found on the History channel website was the Babylonians from back in the day would make promises in order to earn the favor of the gods. Things like paying off debts and giving back borrowed farm equipment. Well, that sounds easy enough. I have some Tupperware I need to return to a co-worker.
When we make resolutions we are just setting ourselves up to fail. I mean think about it, you make these promises to yourself to do ABC and XYZ or to stop this and that. It’s the same four resolutions you’ve made every year since 1998. And only 8 percent of us even keep our New Year’s resolutions anyway.
Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending – Carl Bard
I normally make a list of things I want to change at the start of the year. I am 100 percent committed. It is going to be the best…year…ever! And by the end of the week, I have failed miserably. The year just started and it already sucks. I feel like a loser. I don’t want to feel that way this year. So I am going to try a little reverse psychology and instead of making a “Things I want to do in 2018” list, I am going to make a “Things I won’t do in 2018”.
2018 Will Not Do List:
- I will not stress about what I eat.
- I will not play HayDay all evening.
- I will not worry if my son’s hair grows past his ears. (As long as he brushes it.)
- I will not let Wheel of Fortune be more important than eating with my family at our dinner table.
- Speaking of dinner, I will not forget to set out the hamburger to thaw.
- I will not let negative people get in the way of my happiness.
- I will not let the devil have any power in my life.
- I will not check my email when I am not at work unless I have set a specific time to do so.
- I will not hit snooze. Just kidding – yes I will.
- I will not let spam emails overload my inbox.
- I will not be bothered when the toilet paper roll is empty, dirty dishes are in the sink because someone was too lazy to take 5 minutes to unload the dishwasher, and the toothpaste that is caked on the side of the sink.
- I will not forget to tell my family I love them.
- I will not adopt any more cats. Rob, you’re welcome.
- I will not forget to pray in all circumstances.
- I will not stop laughing.
- I will not worry about things I can’t control.
- I will not feel like crap when I don’t have anything to write about.
- I will not be ashamed to be American.
- I will not apologize for being a Christian.
- I will not regret eating a packet of Oreo covered in Nutella.
- I will not be too busy to donate blood or give back to my community.
I don’t know if looking at New Year’s resolutions from this angle will make a difference or not, but it has to be better than what I have tried the last 15 years. And I really do plan on having an amazing year. I have this sense of calm and peace. I have never felt so excited yet laid back at the beginning of a new year.
I close with this last thought. You have 12 new chapters to write and 365 new opportunities to seize. Don’t get hung up on do’s and don’ts. It doesn’t matter if you make a traditional resolution promise to yourself or manipulate a “will not do” list like I did, go into 2018 with an open mind and grateful heart. Don’t stress about the things you have no control of. Laugh multiple times a day. Do what you say you are going to do. Don’t talk a big game and not follow through. Don’t put up with negative, hateful people that bring you down. Leave that crap in 2017. Do what makes you happy and stand up for your beliefs. Thank God every day for his blessings. Write your best story yet, in 2018.