A New Year Every Day Of Your Life
A new year is always a chance to think anew. It's a chance to discard the ideas and concepts that are not working well. A chance to see life with new eyes.
I have found that the beginning of the year is a time for fresh perspectives and from my experience, fresh ideas yield fresh results. Each January we have an opportunity to look forward, create and do new things to help ourselves, our communities, towns, schools, businesses and families. This is a great time to make a new beginning. I try hard to take advantage of the new year and to make commitments to change.
But I also realize that I am human. I used to have the idea that just because I thought of something I wanted to change, mouthed it a bit, and put a mediocre bit of effort into it, it was suppose to prosper and grow. I was usually disappointed when it failed. As I aged I realized a long time ago that this kind of thinking never worked then and it doesn't work now. So I have worked hard at changing my thinking.
I don't call these ideas resolutions, maybe just because resolutions are suppose to fail. People often count on resolutions not to succeed and often brag about it when they don't work. I see this propensity every morning at the gym. Its often so crowded in January that you have to take a number to work on a machine. However, the numbers dwindle in February and March and by April, most resolutions to get fit or loose weight are long gone and we regulars can have our gym back. It's usually about this time also when the expensive tred mills and weight machines that were acquired during the winter, sit in front of the TV and become clothes racks. They hold that role until the first yard sale of the season.
Another way I fool myself is to start thinking that I can start my new year over any day I want. In fact, just for that reason I do not set my new goals or changes for the new year until two or three weeks into January. I remind myself that not only can I start my new year over every day, but I can start any day over anytime I want to as well. I have to admit that there have been times I have stopped myself at noon and said, "Okay, lets start this one over again. What I am doing is not working."
A long time ago, actually back in 1987, with the help of a very wise mentor, I started a process that continues to change my life. This plan allows me to set goals, work hard towards them and be pleased with the results. I started working on them last weekend and will finish this Saturday. I divide my life into eight areas and try to set only two or three things or action items in each area that I am willing to work towards. I still remember my mentor telling me that I won't change everything I need to in one year but as long as I am working towards a better result I will more than likely accomplish it and move closer towards changing the action or attitude.
These eight areas include: spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, social, relationships, finances, and my home (or community). It is amazing to read back through 16 years of goals and see the incredible changes I have made.
Here are some tips that have worked for me.
I do not focus on losing weight but rather living healthy. I have set the goals of eating habits and I always select an exercise or fitness goal that will force me to work hard. Last year the goal was to climb the highest mountain in Montana and this year is to train for a half marathon. I think of this goal every time someone offers me a donut or I walk by the ice cream cooler at the grocery store.
Over the years, some of the goals or ideas to change have included not to back away from challenges but to try and remember that they are opportunities to grow. I still work on not being a super dad but instead work at doing a few things around home very well, every day. I have learned how to laugh and be a better friend. I still set aside 20 minutes or so every day for personal reflection, quiet time, a few minutes to just sit and read, think, reflect or settle conflicts in my mind. Some people take this time for meditation or prayer, but it all works towards the same incredible results.
The most important goal that I set is to possess an attitude of gratitude. There is so much to be thankful for, like good health, good friends, prosperity, and opportunity. If I don't work hard on this I can easy slip back into taking my good life for granted. As a result of this goal I write more letters, send more post cards, thank more people and genuinely care more about the people around me.
A large part of my life centers around my job and this is a perfect time to renew the goal that I made over a year ago when I moved to Eastern Utah. We have worked hard to produce a better newspaper, one edition at a time, and we are committed to another good year in Carbon County.
The Sun Advocate is the voice of the communities and those of us who work here will strive to listen, cover and report honestly and fairly the news of 2003.