Every year I make New Year’s resolutions with my godfather who lives in California. Now, before you get lost in uncontrollable laughter, I must tell you that we actually keep up with them and think about them all year long. We take turns calling each other on the last day of every month to see how it went with our resolutions. This year my resolutions were “to be myself”, “to be my best self”, and “to count my blessings/be grateful” every day. (Even though I’m not really religious, “Counting your blessings” just sounds so much better, and it gives me warm fuzzy images of the movie White Christmas.) 🙂

Unfortunately, so far, it’s not going so well. I wonder if I really chose the best resolutions. I mean, they are great resolutions — in theory. What better ideal than to work toward being your best? To find out who you are, and then perfect yourself? And gratitude can be extremely helpful in creeping bouts of depression (which seems to have become a more frequent visitor in the past year.)

I think the problem is that I need to be more specific, just like my learning targets for my students (as much as I’m loathe to bring those up.) What does each target mean? For example, when I’m giving thanks, how many things should I list? What time of day? On paper? Aloud? What does “being myself” mean to me? And how does that translate into being my “best” self.

So, here we go, my new targets, er resolutions:

1. I will give thanks for at least 10 things aloud in my car on the way to work and on the way back.

2. I will be authentic in what I say and what I do. I will reflect on my inner thoughts and feelings before making decisions.

3. In actions I take and things I say, I will pause before action and ask myself this question: “Is this doing my best at this moment? Is this my best action?”

Though #2 and #3 could be more specific, I think they clarify what the resolutions mean for me and give me a framework to follow. Perhaps they will even tie into my last year’s resolution, which was the most difficult I’ve had so far: Be present.

Do you have resolutions? If so, hang in there! It takes 3-4 weeks or more to make a habit!

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