As the old year dies and the new one is preparing to be born, countless of us ready ourselves for a sort of rebirth of our own…the dreaded NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION. The very words bring dread into our hearts. To make a resolution, we have to analyze ourselves, look at the negatives in our lives and determine which of our inadequacies we are willing to tackle. It is exhausting. Once we have determined our fatal flaw, we resolve to CHANGE it. And we set about it with GUSTO! This year will be different! This year, I will SUCCEED! Won’t I?
A recent study showed that only 75% of us make it a WEEK with our new resolution. SEVEN DAYS?!?!? Seriously?!?
By the end of January, gyms are empty, weight-loss classes have more empty seats than attendees, cabinets are once again filled with chocolate, and we all feel insanely guilty that once again we have failed. We are failures. How depressing.
Every year we go through the same process. Over. And over. And over. Repeatedly failing. sigh
I know, by now you are asking yourself if I am making a New Year’s Resolution for 2013. Actually, yes I am.
It’s a little different. A little outside of the box.
Ready for it?
I hereby resolve that in 2013 I will be happy.
That’s it. To be happy. It’s a resolution that has an impact on every aspect of my life and one I am pretty sure I will be able to keep for longer than a week.
It really is deceptively simple.
Unhappy about being out of shape (again?!?)? All I have to do is remind myself that being at the gym, and doing something about it makes me HAPPY.
Unhappy about a job situation? I need to figure out what will make me HAPPY and then give myself the permission to do it – either in my current situation or in another one.
Unhappy about a relationship? Well, then – what WILL make me happy? Because certainly sitting around telling myself how UNHAPPY I am isn’t working.
Unhappy about the pile of crap by the door? Even putting one piece of it where it belongs will give me a feeling of happiness.
Chocolate makes me happy. So, it gets to stay. Especially sea salt dark chocolate. However, eating a LOT of it at one sitting makes me UNHAPPY, so – moderation.
And if occasionally sitting in bed for the whole day reading will make me happy, then by God, I WILL and not feel one iota of guilt about it!
And above all, I will not – no…I MUST NOT, allow anyone to do anything that will cause me to make myself feel unhappy. That doesn’t mean I have to make them unhappy in order to bring myself happiness. That wouldn’t be fair of me. Besides, guilt makes me unhappy. Very unhappy.
“Does this make me happy?” will become my new mantra. No matter where I am, or what I am doing. Is this making me happy? No? Then STOP DOING IT!
It almost sounds too easy. I think it will be more challenging than I expect. There will be times when in order to ensure my happiness, I will cause discomfort or even anger in those around me. And THAT causes me to feel unhappy. But, but acquiescing causes me to feel even more unhappy. There will be times I will have to stick to my guns and persevere. Which is much easier said than done.
And there will be times when even acknowledging my unhappiness will be uncomfortable. I remember at the end of my marriage looking at my dear ex-husband and saying, “Don’t we deserve to be happy?” It was a heart-wrenching question. And we had to admit that yes, we were unhappy – and even more importantly, yes…we deserved happiness. Not that the happiness would be immediate. We just knew that what we were doing wasn’t bringing happiness, to anyone, and by doing something else we would be on a path to happiness.
Yes, the path to happiness can be a winding one, but it is a path none-the-less.
So, here’s to 2013. May it be a year of happiness. For everyone.