Its been a few weeks since New Years and the question begs to be asked: how are your New Years resolutions going? The most popular New Years resolutions are generally actions, such as eat healthier, exercise more frequently, and read more. These resolutions can feel daunting as oftentimes they demand a lot of time in your schedule that you have to somehow create. In our busy world, creating time for new activities can feel difficult and, at times, impossible. The concept of establishing a goal to accomplish over the course of a year is a valiant one, but if you have trouble creating the time that your goal demands, it can leave you feeling defeated.
If you find yourself wishing for a new resolution, one that will drastically improve your life and is reasonably within reach, here’s an idea: be better.
Be a better friend, spouse, and parent. Be better at keeping in touch, at taking care of your body, at appreciating the world around you. Be better at forgiving, at listening, at being kind to everyone. Be better mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. You don’t have to limit it to one area of life; whatever being better means for you, work towards that. Better yet, work towards being better in all areas of your life.
Being better is a completely individual goal. Rather than working to be better than someone else, you are working to become a better version of yourself. The best way to measure your progress is by trying to be better today than you were yesterday. By accomplishing these mini-victories of being better each day, you will find immense progress from month to month, and you will be able to look at yourself at the end of the year in awe of the better version of yourself that you’ve become.
If you have a few areas that you’d like to concentrate on, try making a list of those attributes or areas of life and think about ways you can improve. Perhaps reading a book or an article would help provide ideas on how to be better in those instances. You could also make specific goals, such as choosing the stairs instead of the elevator or choosing to compliment one person each day. If you have multiple areas you’d like to improve, you could focus on one attribute a month, such as deciding that you’re going to try to be more patient for this month, and you’re going to learn a new skill the following month. Breaking it down into smaller, more focused goals in a shorter period of time can feel less overwhelming, and you’re still working towards the same overall goal: to be better.
The beauty of this resolution is that if your schedule is already filled to the brim, you don’t need to create time to become better. This resolution requires no additional time, as life presents you with new experiences every day. It is always up to you how you react to these new experiences, whether they be in your relationships, in your job, or in your mind; with your new goal, you can choose to be better in your reactions. For example, instead of getting frustrated during traffic, you can choose to keep your mind at ease. Instead of being offended by someone’s comment, you can choose to silently forgive them. These choices will not only help you become a better person, but they will make your life better by minimizing stress, anger, and other negative emotions that so easily infest our lives.
The intention behind resolutions is to improve one’s life by making this year better than the last. By making your resolution as simple as “be better,” you can improve a multitude of areas in your life with one daily goal: be better today than you were yesterday.