It is interesting to watch traditions come and go and see which ones continue over time. New Year’s resolutions have been in the “continue over time”
category for millennia. They cross cultures, from ancient religious origins of offerings and promises to the gods to the present postmodern goals of self-improvement.
All of us like to take stock at the beginning of the year and resolve to make things better. Or do we? When you Google “I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions” you will get about 110,000,000 results. The results link to recommendations for improvement, as well as stories of failure. Research shows that the likelihood of not following through with your resolutions is quite high. I think that’s because we’re looking at results rather than taking the right steps toward reaching the goal.
A while ago I decided to rebel. Instead of waiting for New Year’s, I decided I would make changes when I noted something in my life I needed to do, like waking up for morning contemplation and prayer, balanced eating, going to the gym, regular checkups, taking a class, or reaching out to a family member or friend. It worked really well for a while. Then life happened; there were interruptions and I was back in the same old routine.
Today, after a few years of interruption, I find myself needing to step back and take stock once again. Some internal growth allows me to accept myself as I am now more than ever, but there are some things that do need attention. Perhaps a few resolutions this year might be helpful.
Making New Year’s resolutions that I will keep seems a bit overwhelming to me. It might work better if I follow the teachings of my friends in recovery who live by the mantra “One day at a time.” “One day at a time” not only helps us through difficulties, it helps us slow down a bit and enjoy those moments on the way to our goals, those moments that are life itself.
Whether you complete your resolutions one day at a time or all at once, there are tremendous resources on the internet to assist you. Who knew about the government website with all sorts of information about the most popular resolutions and how to help meet them? The site covers everything from finance to fitness, work, school, volunteering and more.
You can also find many resources at Baptist Health. Our Community Health team offers ongoing classes, unique programs and special events. Good news for the exercise category is that as of January all our exercise programs are FREE! There’s a wonderful class, not listed yet, called “Focus on Healing” through movement and dance. It is highly enjoyable and has proven physical and psychological benefits for breast cancer survivors.
I still love quiet time in the morning; in fact, now I need more. I don’t feel like going to a loud, crowded gym after being in an office environment all day, but I do feel a lot better when I take a long walk around campus or the neighborhood. I like to eat healthy but I refuse to deprive myself of the occasional dark chocolate.
As I think about this further, it seems that maybe I will make some New Year’s compromises… one day at a time. How about you?
Kathryn Bishopric is a registered nurse, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and board-certified Diplomate in clinical social work, with certifications in addiction, group therapy and spiritual direction. She has worked in a variety of professional roles and settings, including intensive and coronary care as a nurse, and in community, psychiatric and medical settings as a social worker. At Baptist Health South Florida she is director of Care and Counseling Services (CCS is a Samaritan Counseling Center) in the Pastoral Care Services department, and also works with the Samaritan Counseling Center, which offers faith-integrated counseling on a fee-for-service basis to the community.
PLEASE JOIN THE CONVERSATION
As a part of our mission to make The Journey a powerful voice for everyone in our community, we invite each of you to consider joining the conversation and sharing your journey with comments and feedback. You don’t have to be a breast cancer survivor, you can be a caregiver, or a friend, or a concerned citizen. What we are looking for is meaningful and helpful conversations that will encourage other people as they travel along their journey. Sharing is caring and very cathartic. I sincerely urge you to take part.