A month into the New Year, it’s ok—important, even—to revisit your priorities and intentions.
Posted in , Feb 10, 2017
When midnight struck on January 1, many of us raised a glass, kissed a loved one and made a promise. Those promises—New Year’s resolutions—tend to fall into one of three categories—“I will be…,” “I will do…,” or “I will stop…” statements.
This year, I actually had one of each in my resolutions list:
1. I will be kinder to myself.
2. I will do exercise that includes three days at the gym each week, two of which will be classes.
3. I will stop spending so much time on my phone.
So now it’s been a month. How are your resolutions going? As for me, I’m doing just fine, thank you—which is not to say that I have achieved my resolutions in perfect alignment with the intention I set as the clock struck midnight. In fact, I’m taking the act of turning the calendar to February as an opportunity to check in with, and revisit, my resolutions.
In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader
Have I been kinder to myself? Yes, I think so. Chiefly, I have been working on my inner monologue, catching myself in negative patterns and gently offering myself replacement thoughts.
How’s that gym commitment going? I can proudly report that I have in fact made it to the gym three times each week so far this year. But I’ve only made it to one class per week—and one week, no classes at all.
And the phone? Not so much progress there, I’m afraid. But I do feel far more aware of my phone use, which lays the groundwork for future progress.
New Year’s resolutions are really commitments to adopt new habits. Have you heard that it takes 21 days for a good habit to take hold in your life? Well, recent science points to more like 66 days. We’re not even a third of that time into 2017!
So as we move into February, tell me how are your resolutions are going. And, no matter what’s happened, I’ve learned that it’s fine—and wise—to take a fresh look at your commitments, resetting when necessary.
That’s certainly my plan as I start the new month with a positive outlook—and I know that even if I’m reconsidering my resolutions on the treadmill while reading something on my phone, I will be performing an act of self-kindness.