In Your Words: What was your best New Year’s resolution?
Last year, I resolved to “find the time.” I wanted to be a better teacher/mother/wife/ friend, so I decided to find the time for them. I made a few small signs that said “Find the Time” and put them around my home and classroom. The visual reminder spurred me to make that call to a friend, comfort that student, send an encouraging note to my children, make more cookies for my husband, and so on. I may be giving more comfort and joy to others, but it has brought even more joy back to me.
Sherry Sauvain, Kearney, Missouri
A fter receiving a journal, I resolved to write in it regularly. Fifteen years and 12 journals later, I write every day. I write what I’m thankful for. When faced with a decision, I list the pros and cons. If someone hurts my feelings, disappoints me, or makes me mad, I write about that so I can let go. If I feel I deserve a “pat on the back,” I write myself one and never feel boastful. I like looking back through my collection of journals to read entries from important days—it’s a great way to assess progress toward personal and spiritual goals.
Janet Schroeder, Ottawa, Ohio
The best New Year’s resolution that I ever made was to stop making New Year's resolutions. I used to make the normal promises, like losing 10 pounds, getting in touch with old friends, or eating healthier. But I found I wouldn’t follow through, and then I’d feel disappointed in myself. One year, I decided I had enough stress in my life and that adding more with resolutions was counter-productive. I haven't felt bad about myself since.
Christopher Saulnier, Acushnet, Massachusetts
Last year I resolved to take an adult tap dance class, something I have wanted to do for years. After the first class, I knew I’d be doing this until I could no longer reach down and tie my own tap shoes! Not only is tap a terrific activity for stress relief, I’ve learned that exercising is fun and gives me more energy throughout the day. If only I’d made this resolution sooner! Rebecca Garcia, Menlo Park, California
I limit my resolutions to one word. They’re easier to remember and pack a punch. The best one I made, and kept, was “patience.” I exercised patience with my students, my family, sales people—even crazy drivers on the highway! Other powerful one-word resolutions include health, walk, sleep, or punctuality. Pull your thoughts together and find one word to represent the changes you want to make.
Beverly Miloszewski, Pennsauken, New Jersey
My sisters, mother, and I hail from a small, Midwestern town, and we use the 4-H Pledge as our New Year’s resolution guide: “I give my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands for larger service for my club, my community, my country, and my world.” Each year we make a plan that incorporates Head, Hands, Heart, Home, and Health.
Elizabeth Simmer, Saint Paul, Minnesota
On the brink of midnight, I decided I would ring in the next New Year in Times Square. I also resolved to try different activities that involved being outside. As the months passed, I became an avid bird watcher, hiked from Penn Station to the George Washington Bridge with a hiking club, and, on December 31, stood in Times Square with a good friend where we hugged complete strangers, wishing them a Happy New Year. Making a resolution and keeping it feels good.
Elisabeth Hague, Southampton, New York