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A resolution solution

I know that people are sick of hearing about new year’s resolutions. Every year people decide that they want to lose weight, exercise more, eat right, save money, etc. and come the next Jan. 1, most people find that they’ve made almost no progress. I’m one of those people, and while I enjoy the concept of a resolution and like the idea of bettering myself, I think there’s something inherently difficult about setting a yearlong goal for oneself. It is harder to hold yourself accountable than to hold anyone else accountable, and it is more difficult to see change in yourself than anyone else.

I have a recommendation for you when it comes to new year’s resolutions. If you can hang in there for just one more article about bettering yourself, I think you may find this idea refreshing.

This month you may be tempted to take a piece of paper and write at the top of it “My New Year’s Resolutions.” You will want to make a humongous list of ways that you could improve yourself over the next 12 months. Instead, I challenge you to call up a loved one, text a friend or even sit down with you child and ask, “What would you like me to do more of in 2020, and what would you like me to do less of?”

Your spouse will probably tell you that they want you to do more cooking, or to do a better job of mowing the lawn on time. They might ask you to spend less time stressing about work and more time relaxing.

Your child may ask that you spend less time in front of the television and more time playing with them or having a family night.

Your parents might ask that you visit them a tad more often, or send more pictures of the grandkids.

If your dog could talk, they would probably ask for you to take them on more walks and to not get as mad when they sneak the occasional bite of food off the table when you’re not looking.

If you have a pastor, they might tell you that they wish you would doubt yourself a little less. They may ask you to volunteer around the church a little more or find more personal time with God.

I am not suggesting that a person should only value themselves when it comes to the opinion of others. What I want to express is that our lives are filled with people that love and care about us very much, and those individuals want the very best for us. They want to see us excel in life. They want us to exceed their expectations. They want us to grow and be the best versions of ourselves that we can be.

Reach out to these people and see what they hope for you this year. Maybe they want you to relax a little more. Maybe they do want you to clean up your diet or save up for the next family vacation. Maybe they want you to finish that project that you started but haven’t gotten around to in months.

Come next January, approach these people again and ask them if they think you completed these goals, or better yet, don’t even ask. Show them. Not only will you feel inspired to achieve the requests of the people that are important to you; you may make that person’s life a smidge better in the process and better your relationship with those around you.

I asked this question to my loved ones this year. They asked me to paint more, write more short stories, to spend more time with them, to clean the dishes more, to not stress as much and to be the best version of myself that I can be. It’s a tall order, but at least I have some great folks to hold me accountable.

ALEXA MASSEY is a staff reporter for The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is Alexa.Massey@FarmvilleHerald.com.