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What’s in a resolution?

This year I’ll be looking for joy

Photo credit: Alexandra Kirr on Unsplash

It’s that time of the year again. Happy January 2nd — our annual post-hangover, food-coma, heading back to work, looking-for-a-better-life morning.

Did you wake up to social media filled with these?

  Resolutions — they work!
  Resolutions? They don’t work.
  The trick to New Year’s Resolutions — Start small.
  How to make your Resolutions stick: Go big!

What I love about resolutions is that they are inherently optimistic. We want life to be better. We are hopeful that it can be. We’re ready to try again.

And so, across the country, millions of people dally with the question: What can I change? What will I try?

For many, the quest for healthier lifestyle comes packaged in harsh terms. People give up on their resolutions because they feel they’ve failed. Been to the gym only twice this week instead of five times? Eaten cake when you said no sugar for a month? People attack themselves for their failure and abandon the hope that set the resolution in the first place.

For me, resolutions are more about mindset than about hardship. It’s not so much a matter of what I can start/stop/become as what I can shift. I find that when I take the time to notice, and appreciate, that small changes in my attitude can bring about great things and lasting impact.

This year, it’s about joy.

My plan for 2018 is to look for joy.

I expect to find joy in the small moments of life — sitting on the couch reading with my son, watching my daughter working on an art project, going for walks with my husband in our evolving neighborhood of twenty years.

I know I will find it in nature — in sunset-tinged skies, early morning dew, the sound of crickets in the summer, and of migrating geese in the fall.

I suspect I will find joy in unforeseeable places — in unlikely moments, and unpredictable ways. I’m curious and delighted to see what those are.

I also hope to bring more joy — to be the bearer of it, filling and refilling not just my own cup, but the cups of those around me.

What we say affects what we notice and how we feel. What we say shapes what children think. If I’m looking for joy, I believe I will find it. If I’m looking for joy, it will come out in my words.

So this year I’m shooting for joy. I’ll let you know how it works out.

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