This New Year, commit to a set of Solutions, not Resolutions
There is something intimidating about New Year’s Day. While it is a blessing to have a new beginning, a clean slate, a blank canvas, it is also overwhelming. The possibilities are endless but also limited by our individual set of circumstances.
For example: while it is possible to book a one-way ticket to Paris, open a tiny bookstore/café and spend the days with fellow-minded bookworms munching on buttery croissants my circumstances kindly remind me of my responsibilities and point me towards alternatives: Montreal has quaint bookstores, delicious cafes and its fair share of bookworms.
What is it about the Parisian scenario that makes me wax nostalgic with a dreamy look in my eyes? Could it be the possibility of indulging in my favourite pastime continually? If it were possible, I would spend the days (every single one) reading and it would still not be enough!
Is there a solution?
Yes, a simple one, actually. In 2019, I will allow myself the luxury of spending more time reading, unhurried, without an ounce of guilt creeping up to ruin my experience.
A set of solutions
A few years ago, I committed to not having any New Year Resolutions. That decision was liberating. I started the New Year without a “to do” list and it was the best gift I could give myself. Resolutions for “A type” personalities are more stressful than anything. They are constant reminders that we committed to improving some aspects (or all aspects) of our lives. As the weeks turn into months, and we realize we did not accomplish most (or even one) of our resolutions, feelings of defeat and failure set in.
I am proposing a different strategy this year.
After carefully examining our lives,
let us find solutions to our irritants instead of writing a list of resolutions.
Example: Losing weight
Old strategy (Resolution): Starting a diet as of January 2nd, eliminating all carbs and sweets, getting a gym membership.
New Strategy (Solution): Eliminating one unhealthy eating habit per month.
Questionnaire to help you plan your New Year’s List of Solutions
Faith: What is the one (or principal) obstacle that you can eliminate in order to grow in your spiritual life this year?
Potential solution: reading one chapter of the Bible daily.
Family: Any conflicts weighing you down that can be resolved? Are you spending meaningful time with your children? What can be reduced from your schedule to make time for one fun outing/activity per week with your loved ones?
Potential solution: finishing work 30 minutes early on Fridays in order to enjoy a family “fun” night ( which can be as simple as pizza for dinner, followed by popcorn and a movie.)
Friendships: Miss hanging out with a certain friend? Lost touch with others?
Potential solution: pick up the phone and schedule a “coffee date”, which is a lot simpler to organize and accomplish than a “girls’/boys’ night out” or “going out for dinner”.
Other categories that you might want to examine: Health, Hobbies
Personal Growth (still dreaming about writing that book, starting a blog, taking a photography class–determine the steps you need to take to make it happen this year).
When you start the New Year with a list of solutions, you are already halfway towards accomplishing your goals.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Happy and Blessed New Year!
Other articles you might enjoy: What will you hold on to from 2020?
Additional Coptic resources on this topic: A new year a new beginning
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