There is a feeling of hope that comes with the anticipation of a new year. There is a sense that whatever happened in the old year is done and gone and this next year can be something entirely new. (This, by the way, is also my favorite thing about school years. They start and stop, and we get the chance to rebuild and re-imagine.)
There are many ways to define that thing we do as the calendar turns over, but essentially they are all about choosing a focus for the new year.
This year my one word, my resolution, my focus is positivity.
I cannot control most of the events in our world, but I can work to influence where possible.
I cannot control many of the things that happen to my family and friends and colleagues and students, but I can support them in the good and bad times.
I cannot control the people around me, but I can control myself.
This is not the first year that I have chosen positivity as my word. In fact, I have set this as a goal many times. But I am older, and hopefully wiser, and I understand better now what a challenge this can sometimes be. There was a time when people called me Pollyanna. There was time when I believed that all I had to do was want to be positive, and I would see the glass as always half full.
I know better now. Positivity is a choice, but it is a choice to behave in ways that make it more likely to be successful.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
There are many things in life that I cannot control. But there are many things I can.
I can control what I eat. I have such a better outlook on things when I’ve made healthier choices in food.
I can control whether or not I work out. It’s not about looking better (although I do have my eye on a new swimsuit), but I feel better all day when I have moved in the morning.
I can control how long I sleep at night. It is almost always harder to deal with daily stress when I am tired.
I can control whether or not I take the time to meditate. I’ve come to believe in the power of mindfulness to influence my reactions to things. (Check out the Headspace app sometime.)
And I can ask for help when I need it.
My work, my relationships, my life are all more enjoyable when I engage in them with positivity. A goal without a plan is just a wish.
I have a plan. What’s yours?