Experts say that if you want to keep your resolutions, you should make them very specific and measurable. So that’s what I did last year—with mixed results.
My list for 2012 included things such as call brothers once a month (lasted until April), run twice a week (started, got injured and restarted), watch one movie a week (not a chance in hell), finish lavender sweater (ditched the sweater and went for a scarf instead, which still isn’t finished) and a host of other items.
These were all good resolutions, but they didn’t seem to really change my life. I felt like I had an obligatory to-do list instead.
So this year, I’m taking a different approach. Instead of resolutions, I’ve determined a focus: “live with an open heart” and a mantra “patience and love.”
Resolution gurus would probably scoff, but in the week since I’ve embarked on this, I’ve already noticed a change.
When I’m losing my patience with my daughter, I think “patience and love” until my irritation subsides (sometimes it takes awhile). When I’m about to rip my husband a new one because the kitchen is dirty, I repeat “patience and love” over and over until my irrational rage subsides. When someone cuts me off in traffic, well, I flip them off as usual. I don’t yet have enough patience and love for the whole world.
Those three words are like a reset button. They quickly remind me of my goal to live with an open heart—one that is filled with, you guessed it, patience and love.
It’s repetitive, but that’s the point. For me to form a new habit, I need to hit myself over the head with it—a lot. Based on my attitude today, I should probably just lock myself in my bed and repeat it the entire day. Still, I’m confident that if I keep repeating those three little words, by next new year’s I will brainwash myself into being a kindler gentler me. It’s that or I will become a Stepford wife. Risky, but I’m willing to take the risk.
What will 2013 mean to you?