New Year’s Day. We celebrated the night before. Maybe we opened champagne and kissed the person we love and wished all in our circle a Happy New Year. Maybe we spent the evening alone and quietly brought the New Year in with some soft music and a glass of wine or eggnog with a little brandy in it. Maybe we went to sleep early getting rested for a long weekend ahead.
Whatever happened on New Year’s Eve, it is now over and the New Year has started. This is the time we decide if we are going to make some changes on the outside of us or the inside. Many people feel that this is a day of new beginnings and it should be taken advantage of. People decide to lose weight, to exercise, to be more social, to get out of debt, and many other good ideas. This is what is called a New Year’s Resolution.
The problem with most of these ‘resolutions” is we find that we give them up about the 14th of January. The schedule gets to busy and so exercise goes out the window. The car breaks down and getting out of debt turns into getting in to more debt. A co-worker brings in a couple dozen donuts and the diet goes out the window (especially if they are jelly).
Why is this the case? Literally thousands of people get gym memberships the first week of January and never use them. We can assume Weight Watchers and Slim Fast do a booming business too. In the first week of January many store put diet and exercise supplements and equipment items in front of the store as you go in or make sure these items are on sale.
Part of the reason most people fail at their goals at the beginning of the year is that the goal isn’t reached fast enough or it becomes too hard. We live in a society where most of our lives are easy. The time it takes to do things that used to take hours’ in the past, take minutes now. You can have dinner ready in a few minutes if you use a microwave. If you use a credit card you can almost anything you want when you want it and to be honest most people do not think of the consequences of these actions.
Ladies and Gentlemen, change takes time. It takes three weeks to establish a new habit. So if you start to exercise it will take three weeks to get used to going to the gym. If you start a diet it will take three weeks to get used to eating less and to eating the right things. If you are getting out of debt you must come up with a plan and stick to it no matter what. There are many organizations out there that will help you eliminate your debt. Saving money also has to become a habit.
Many banks charge a monthly fee if you don’t open a savings account with a certain amount of money. One bank allows you to start with a $25.00 dollar deposit but the agreement is that has to be up to $200.00 in four months or they will start to charge a fee.
Recently a chart was found on Face book. The chart showed that if you put aside one dollar the first week of the year, two dollars the second week of the year and so on. On the last week of the year you will add $52.00. In the end you will have saved over a thousand dollars in that year. It’s a good plan and easy to follow.
Exercise can be done the same way. On the first day of the year walk around your block once on the second day, two blocks and keep going until you get to the third week. After that the habit will be formed and you will feel better.
Plato said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” We need to look at our inside too. Do we hold a grudge against someone? Are we less kind then we should be? Could we spend more time with our families than we do? Do we get angry quickly and hurt others in out anger? Do we love well? Not romantic love, to be honest that’s pretty easy. But do we love in such a way that we keep going when the going gets tough, when someone get under our skin, or simply has a different opinion than ours.
The Greeks have four words for love as opposed to our insufficient one. Eros refers to sexual attraction, storge which is love for family, plillia which is the type of love when we help others. And the last is agape which is a love that is between friends. So these are the four types of love that we need to master if we want to become a different person this year. These are also the areas of our lives to be examined if we want to make healthy changes on the inside of ourselves.
Whatever you decide to do in the coming year remember to stick with it no matter how hard it gets. Remember that you are more than you think you are and you have what it takes to be the person you want to be.