Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.
Yesterday I told you that I was disappointed in the changes in my activity level over the past year or so. Most of the reduced activities have been due to health problems and some due to a lack of energy. My new reality will require me to develop an activity plan that will allow me to stay involved doing what I can reliably. As I reported I have on the advice of one of my kids decided not to worry about what I might do until after the first of the year.
Whatever I do decide to do I plan on putting in to a set of practical New Year’s resolutions. I recently read an article written by Erin Leyba, LCSW, PhD that offers tips on making realistic resolutions, here in part is what she suggests.
Bite-Sized New Year’s Resolutions for Relationships
This year, apply these research-based tips to strengthen your relationships.
People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t. (That fact alone could spur anyone to make some goals for 2016 – especially the kind you write down on paper.
Record Goals on Paper
Research conducted by Gail Matthews(link is external) shows that people who wrote down their goals shared this information with a friend, and sent weekly updates to that friend were on average 33% more successful in accomplishing their stated goals than those who merely formulated them in their minds.
Make Them Tiny
Human nature is to dream big. When you imagine a change, you naturally want it to be one that’s glaring, eye-catching, and totally exciting. The expectation of huge results is one factor that provides momentum to do something different (despite all the odds stacked against us).
While sweeping changes like running a marathon may be appealing, bite-sized changes, also called “successive approximations,” are often more realistic and sustainable. They are way more likely to stick and, if they do, they can provide a snowball effect to help you take another step in the right direction.
Here are a few ideas for bite-sized relationship changes—small ideas for your big resolutions. While the timeline for these actions might seem strange or even sad, it can be very hard to create real change. Thinking tiny can help.
- Go on a date night (just the two of you) at least once a month
- Surprise your partner(link is external) at least once a quarter
- Do a chore that’s supposed to be your partner’s at least once a quarter
- Visit with long-lost friends at least once a year
- Call at least one friend every Sunday
- Send at least one get-well card to a friend at least once a year
- Send at least one “congratulations” card to a friend this year
- Make an effort with at least one new friendship this year
- Do an act of kindness for a stranger or a neighbor at least once a year
- Volunteer (work at the homeless shelter, help at your kid’s school, participate in a blood drive, or to organize a food drive at work) at least once a year
- Make friendly, happy conversation with a check-out person at the grocery store, pharmacy, or other store at least once a year
In all the holiday hustle bustle, take some time to dream up some resolutions that you feel would make the greatest impact on your relationships. Make them explicit, write them down, and use the tiniest goals imaginable.
How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.
Father William, the old priest, made it a practice to visit the parish school one day a week. He walked into the 4th grade class, where the children were studying the states, and asked them how many states they could name. They came up with about 40 names. Father William jokingly told them that in his day students knew the names of all the states.
One lad raised his hand and said, ‘Yes sir, but in those days there were only 13 states.
When my grown children complain about the way they were raised, I always tell them that we did the best we could with what we had to work with.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall ,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,
And his winter wasn’t bad either.
It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.
My 17-year-old niece asked me if she could use my name as a reference on her resume’, which she planned to submit to a local fast-food restaurant. I agreed.
A few days later she called and told me to meet her at the restaurant later that afternoon. When I asked her why, she replied, “The manager wants me to come in for an interview, and she told me to bring my references.”
You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely.
An applicant was being interviewed for admission to a prominent medical school.
“Tell me,” inquired the interviewer, “where do you expect to be five years from now?”
“Well, let’s see,” replied the student. “It’s Wednesday afternoon. I guess I’ll be on the golf course by now.”
“You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.”
Diane Von Furstenberg
An Irishman and an American were sitting in the bar at Shannon Airport.
“I’ve come to meet my brother,” said the Irishman. “He’s due to fly in from America in an hour’s time. It’s his first trip home in forty years”.
“Will you be able to recognize him?” asked the American.
“I’m sure I won’t,” said the Irishman, “after all, he’s been away for a long time”.
“I wonder if he’ll recognize you?” said the American.
“Of course he will,” said the Irishman. “Sure, an’ I haven’t been away at all”.
Let our New Year’s resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
Ray’s Daily has been sent for more than fifteen years to people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can request to be added by e-mailing me at email@example.com. Back issues are posted at https://raykiwsp.wordpress.com/ currently there are more than 2000 readers from around the world.