Resolve to Evolve

As some begin the year, their minds will turn to the New Year's Resolution prospect. Some people embrace it. Others do not. Interestingly, this year, I have found less and less people showing any interest to have one. One person called it a gimmick. Well, my friends, and everyone else, of all of the gimmicks out there in this elaborate and tempting world, this is one of the only ones I actually support. "Why?" You may ask. It is because resolutions typically involve personal growth/improvement, change, sacrifice, and especially (oh yes, especially), self-discipline.

Of all of the things in the world to have, besides faith in God ("can I get an Amen?!" the preacher requested), self-discipline is the most important.

Perhaps, there are a few people out there with petty resolutions. However, usually, people are trying to lose weight, exercise more, eat correctly, spend more time with family or friends, work harder or more, work less, meditate, drink less, relax, control their tempers, mend relationships, rebuild old bridges, build new connections, and many more healthy concepts. I find, the only failing in the idea, which has been voiced by many, is that people stop when they feel they've failed, don't start until the beginning of the year, or set a time limit on how long they'll do it.

Resolutions should be about a permanent change and start immediately.

You can choose to exercise more. However, if you're trying to get to a specific weight, and that's it, you'll find yourself gaining again. If you're going to stsrt exercising, don't stop. Don't give up. If running is too exhausting, walk. You can walk for thirty (30) minutes to an hour. While walking, you can talk on the phone, read a book, listen to music, or simply breathe, think, and appreciate nature. Ever consider mobile meditation? You walk, clear your mind, and just be. You can recognize and respond to objects within you surroundings without letting them break your "peace of mind state". Christians can walk and pray. Alone, you can talk to God. If you're exercising to a specific weight, there's nothing wrong with losing more. As long as you eat correctly, why be concerned with looking too thin? Exercise is healthy. If you end up looking thinner than you intended, rest assured that your body is carrying less weight and your heart doesn't have to work so hard to pump blood. Your muscles are strong from all of the exercise.

You can choose to eat better. Why stop? When I chose to stop eating certain things, I said, "That's it. It's done." However, as many have emphasized, moderation is the key. If you happen to give in and eat big piece of cake, it doesn't mean you've failed and your diet is over. Eat better for the rest of your life. Gimmicks are temporary. The choice to improve yourself and embrace health should be permanent. It involves giving up some of those things that taste good but take away years of your life.

I mentioned sacrifice. Sacrifice is essential to productivity. To be productive, one must give up watching as much television as they used to or playing video games. There are plenty of non-essential things probably racing in your mind that you know you don't need to do or can cut down on that will give you more time to do things you need to do. Sacrifice is essential to healthy behavior. When you're on a diet, you have to sacrifice the fatty foods, sweets, junk, processed food-like products, and carbonated drinks, and eat more fruits, vegetables, and nuts (if you're not allergic). You have to drink more water and juices. I gave up red meat, completely. However, you can choose to cut the serving sizes down or half the amount of times you eat them.

My argument here is that everyone should establish permanent, self-improving goals. We can always be better than we were last year, last month, last week, and yesterday. Some may say, I'm okay with who I am right now and don't need to make any changes. Good for you! You can stop reading this.

The most important resolution (to me), and the resolution that inspired this blog, is improving one's character and choosing to relate and behave better around others. I know I will. With that being said, it is not my desire to reveal what changes I have chosen to make this year. If you ask me, I'll probably say "to make some changes". If you ask me what those changes are, asking for specifics, I won't tell you. You don't have to advertise your resolutions. You can keep them to yourself unless those resolutions will directly affect others. If you're a parent changing how you eat, obviously, your spouse and kids will see the change and how you buy groceries. However, I don't believe in broadcasting resolutions or every thought I have. Many things are best left between me and God. One thing you should not do is share your resolutions with people who don't want you to fulfill them. If you don't know who those people are, then sometimes it's best to keep it between you and God. God wants you to be a better person. If you're on a diet, people might tempt you with just one bite of cake. ("It's not gonna kill you," they might say, as your arteries enjoy just a little more pressure and stress) If you're trying to exercise more, don't tell the person that says, "You don't need to exercise. You look great!" or "Are you sure you want to walk right now? It's kind of cold." (As you get going, your body warms itself up.) "Where are you going to find the time?" (I'll sacrifice the time I spend having these conversations.) It's typically something subtle. Yet, I'm sure you can think of many times you wanted or thought of doing something productive or healthy and that productive or healthy idea found resistance from the people you least expected. Commonly, it's the people who aren't seeking self-improvement or are envious of your ambition.

Again, I say, the resolution of improving one's character is of the highest importance. Living by integrity, a correct sense of justice, and righteousness will improve your life. It will make you happy. It will make others around you happy. No living, breathing human on this earth is perfect. We will make many mistakes. Usually, they come out of our mouths. However, it is our intentions that determine just how imperfect and right or wrong we are.

So, with that being said, if everyone can commit to a few things this year, it would be great. If everyone can resolve to not do any of the following things, the world can be a better place.

I will not sabotage someone else.
I will not dig into affairs that are not my own.
I will not violate anyone's privacy.
I will not inhibit anyone else's growth.
I will not bad mouth people I know or don't.
I will not coerce others into unnecessary arguments.
I will not become violent.
I will not give into anger.
I will not emphasize petty flaws in others to make myself feel better.
I will not gossip about other people's lives or choices.
I will not eavesdrop on others' conversations.
I will not tell other people's secrets when someone trusts me with them.
I will not cheat on my significant other.
I will not take things that are not mine.
I will not encourage or instigate fights.
I will not seduce someone in a relationship.
I will not enter into an agreement under false pretenses.
I will not passive aggressively talk around a person instead of resolving an issue directly.
I will not litter.
I will not waste my money on things I don't need.
I will not have a temper tantrum because I did not get my way.
I will not value money over the safety, comfort, and health of human beings.
I will not idolize people, but will see them for who they are.
I will not befriend someone with the intention of exploiting them.
I will not befriend someone to learn their secrets.
I will not befriend someone only because I need something from them.
I will not give into fear.
I will not get totally wasted, because I'm doing just that, wasting myself.
I will not remain in an abusive relationship, social or professional, but will seek help.
I will not intentionally put myself in harms way, because it hurts the people who love me.
I will not be selfish, and focus only on what I need in life, but will invest time in helping others get to where they need to be.
I will not disrespect people.

I could go on forever. However, let me leave you with this. If you say all of these things and commit to them, you will be happier. Other people will be happier. Invest this year, your time, in learning new things. Learn how to play a musical instrument, sew, cook. Perhaps you can try to learn and master a foreign language. Read more books. Save money and travel. There is so much to life. We can stop being trivial and start being happy. Embrace happiness and peace. This is the new year. This is the rest of your life.

Resolve to be better, because anything else is a waste of time.

With that, I close. Have a great year.


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