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Consider this resolute idea

Posted on January 13, 2022 | Comments

The practice of making New Year resolutions dates back to about 2000 BC in what was ancient southern Mesopotamia when people made oaths to their king, and personal resolutions as part of festive rituals. By the late Medieval period, the clergy asked their congregation to use the New Year as a time of reflection, and to correct mistakes of the past to live a better life. In modern times, resolutions at the beginning of a new year most often focus on trying to improve oneself. However, throughout history, it’s been common knowledge that people struggle to keep resolutions. 

Whether or not you’ve written resolutions, or have any intention of doing so, I would like to offer a very new approach to this annual practice—a different kind of resolution writing activity that will benefit both you and everyone around you once you have completed the process.  

On a nice piece of paper or stationery, write a list of all the good things you have done for yourself and others throughout 2021. For example, you could include the people who you have loved and supported, and ask yourself what challenges you have tackled, and what positive changes you have made in your personal life. Another item to include is noting when you had the courage to admit something about yourself or a situation that was not easy to do. Looking back at last year, what were some of your insights? What activities did you engage in that enriched your life and the lives of others? Your list could include people and situations you have forgiven, and any other qualities you feel proud of, and would like to acknowledge.

Since we are not typically comfortable giving ourselves gold stars, spend as much time as you wish contemplating these prompts. You may need to look at a calendar to remember all of your accomplishments throughout the year, and there’s no minimum or maximum either. Whatever you choose to recognize about yourself is absolutely fine. You can also be artistic about it by adding drawings, photos or stickers such as stars and hearts.

Once you feel your list is complete, put your letter into an envelope, address it to yourself and drop it in the mail. To make it more of a surprise, ask someone else to mail it, and not tell you when, to make its arrival unexpected. Either way, it’s a terrific way to start this new year with the best gift ever! And who knows, it may be one resolution you won’t have trouble keeping in future years.

Originally posted January 13, 2022, Orange County Register

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