Day one of the New Year

day-oneEveryone talks about the new year resolutions that they’ve so many times made yet so often broken. I think it must have to do with the “promise” thing about the resolution. Promises are so terribly hard to keep due to the world changing on a daily basis as well as the human ego constantly trying to justify everything we do even though we know deep down we shouldn’t. The easy part of a resolution or promise is that once it’s broken, one’s off the hook and able to go back to doing what we resolved to do or not do. Sound a bit familiar? Don’t blame yourself, just blame the way you attempted to make change. Far too many people’s resolutions are either so high and likely un-attainable, or so cloudy that they really aren’t sure if they’re sticking to the promise. With a mischievous smile I use an example of a cloudy resolution; “Beginning the first of 2015 I’m not going to allow myself to have any impure thoughts.” Now where do we draw the line on a thought being impure or not. Most would take an impure thought to the sexual side, but indeed an impure thought could be considered anything that is associated with any or all of the seven deadly sins. A lofty and likely un-attainable resolution would be to promise oneself that we’re going to stop eating un-healthy foods, swim a half hour a day, and run 7 miles daily. All of this wrapped up in one resolution? Wow. Likely taking one of the three would give at least a slim chance of fulfilling.

Another interesting feature of this business of making new year’s resolutions is that nearly all of them are in a selfish way, centered around the wishes of that particular person. They don’t consider a resolution to be something that’s selfless in helping others. For example. Do we every make resolutions to visit a nursing home where there are people who have no one on the outside to talk to? Have we ever made a resolution to do something worthwhile for our community on a regular basis pro bono? Wouldn’t it be considered a resolution to work at being more understanding of others where we work at stepping into their shoes for a moment or two before making judgements?

I decided this morning to spend some time with an elderly relative and do bit of visiting as well as helping with a few needed chores. When I finally left about four hours later, I believe we both felt better about ourselves.

I visited with a past client several days ago and he mentioned something that gave me cause to think about what has been happening in our society. He said, “I’m finding there are too many slippery slopes in the way we carry on in both our public as well as our private lives.” I’m convinced that far too many people refuse to set standards for themselves and allow the “anything goes” mentality to rule. With these people we find them continuing to fall up cliffs. They convince themselves they will never be anything more than what they are at this point in time. They may attempt to scale a cliff but without the proper tools as well as planning, they will continue to fall up their cliffs.

The greatest encouragement for those who want to make a new year’s resolution, is to create even the smallest of standards by climbing up their ladders of growth and development to the point of at least reaching the first upper level above where they now consider themselves to be. Let this be the resolution made during day one of 2015.

Joe Chodur

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