Why make a New Year’s resolution? Making resolutions at the start of the year exemplifies Man’s desire to improve conditions in life. Setting a specific goal and seeing it through dates back to Babylonian times about 4,000 years ago. Indeed, it may be mankind’s longest-lived tradition. A persistence founded on the idea that a resolution is a gift to oneself.
Our culture, you see, is strewn with messages on the virtue of giving to others, but little is mentioned about the benefit of giving to ourselves. Consequently, we often neglect our own well-being—one firm decision can straighten out such an oversight.
Hence, a list of common New Year’s resolutions reads something like this: get fit, eat better, quite smoking, quit drinking alcohol, start enjoying life more, start spending more time with family, learn something new, laugh more often. But perhaps the best resolution of all—the best gift to you—is your own insistence on a daily dose of self-confidence.
We undermine confidence with our belief that Man is supposed to be “his own worst critic.” We usually are way too hard on ourselves. To overcome this adverse tendency, resolve (as the word resolution implies) to give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back for each and every accomplishment. It is not arrogant or egotistical to commend oneself for a job well done; it is desirable and proper.
With this in mind, set aside a few minutes in the evening to put your attention on all the things you did right that day: I ate a healthful breakfast. I drove politely. I got to work on time. I smiled and accepted my co-worker’s compliments on my completed project. I read to my kids. I admired the sunset. I told my family I love them. I wrote an overdue letter. This can bring satisfaction and make everyday a “very good day.”
As well, the resolution to endorse your own correct actions results in a higher affinity for yourself. It makes you a truer friend to yourself. And since genuine friends always stickup for each other, you too must always stickup for yourself. That means no saying aloud or even thinking such thoughts as: I’m not sure I’m qualified. I’m always goofing up. I usually say the wrong thing. I look ugly today. It is an irrefutable fact that self-invalidation is destructive and serves no purpose.
But what happens if you do mishandle a situation or screw-up royally? That’s easy. If you mess-up—fix it of course and do it right—but never, never, never dwell on the negative aspect of it. After all, isn’t that exactly the advice you would give a troubled friend? So why not heed it yourself?
Then too, it is within our power to turn negatives to positives by viewing any mistake as a learning experience. A blunder can be a good thing if we learn not to do it again. It’s all in the way we look at it.
So make a decision to acknowledge the bright side—to believe in your own rightness. You will instantly be a more confident you!