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Another New Year's Resolution?

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Vintage Photo Woman Celebrating New Year

Happy New Year!

Like most people I’ve taken stock of the previous year, revisited my New Year’s Resolutions from 2015, examined how close I came, and have come up with a nice fat goose egg. I don’t think I accomplished a single thing I set out to do. I can’t even remember some of my resolutions, but they looked something like this:

1. Get so fit and shapely Wonder Woman will want me on her squad.
2. Complete the book I’ve been writing for the last 10 years.
3. Become so successful, Oprah will have me on her speed dial.
4. Be a cowgirl. (Don’t judge.)

Not all of my resolutions were this outrageous; a few were doable, but you get the point. Some of my resolutions were too grandiose to be actionable. After a while the steam ran out of my motivation. Life got in the way, and as I became busier and more stressed, some of my old not so healthy habits (procrastination and overindulging) reemerged to help me cope.

So now it’s a year later and not one thing on my list has been accomplished.

Am I depressed about it? Should I beat myself up and tell myself what a failure I am for not fulfilling my New Year’s Resolutions?

Hell, I mean heck no. (One of my resolutions in 2015 was to stop using profanity.)

I believe lasting and meaningful change is one of the most difficult things a person can do, and it may take months, years or even a lifetime for it to stick. As horribly clichéd as it sounds, to make any positive lasting change in life, you have to go on a journey—one fraught with unexpected twists and turns. One minute you’ve hit your stride and view along the way is amazing, the next you’re stuck up to your waist in mud, wondering how you got there and struggling to get out. Sometimes it’s frightening and sometimes it’s exhilarating, but more often than not if you refuse to give up at the end of it you’re better, wiser and stronger for it.

So from now on, I will forgo the yearly tradition of making New Year’s Resolutions and simply make one lifelong commitment here and now: to consciously become my best self. Because whether we realize it or not, every decision we make, how we treat ourselves and choose to treat others moves us closer to or farther from our best selves.

Here's to becoming your best self!

T. Ogden

New Year's Day

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