"Many people look forward to the new year
for a new start on old habits."
Happy New Year! Around this time of year, many people are preparing resolutions and, as a result, thinking about all of things they want to change in their lives. But what about all of the things they don't want to change? What about all of the things that have happened in 2009 -- and over the past decade -- that have been great? Instead of focusing on what I want to change in my life (which is something I spent a whole lot of 2009 doing), I'm going to think about what I want to keep the same as I move forward to 2010. It's been a pretty great year for me and, while I always believe there's room for improvement, today I'm going to zero in on the things that I want to keep the same in the next decade.
My 6 Stay-The-Same Resolutions for 2010
Be positive. I can't I was positive for the decade, but I was definitely much more positive in 2009 and I want to keep that attitude up! It hasn't necessarily been an easy one for me to embrace or maintain, but I'm looking forward to putting in the effort to make sure that 2010 is just as positive -- if not more so! -- than 2009.
Stay present. While I did find being positive a little tricky this year, staying present was really hard work. With a mind that's always racing and a million things I thought I should be doing, it was pretty difficult for me to stay in the moment. But, more often than not, I did it and I'm really proud of myself for that. I hope to keep living in the moment in 2010.
Enjoy life. We all know the old idea that life is short, but how often do we really act like it's short? This year, having spent a lot of time focusing on happiness and positivity, I've learned how to enjoy life more. I've learned how to spend more time in the moment, doing the things I want to be doing (like writing this blog!) and it's made my life so much better. Enjoying life is one of the best things I can continue doing, both for myself and for the sake of those around me.
Keep learning. Learning is one of my favorite things to do and, though I'm no longer a student, I still find ways to learn. I read and write and listen. I learn more about myself and about other people every single day. Sometimes all of this learning is tiring and can feel overwhelming, but I don't know where (or who!) I'd be without it. I hope that for 2010 -- and for the rest of my life -- I keep learning more about myself and the world because I really do believe that new knowledge makes me a better person.
Be passionate. I've always been a passionate sort of person. No matter what I'm doing, if I'm into it, I'm into it. If I really care about something or love a task, I will put my whole heart into it and give it my all. In the past, I was passionate about some things that weren't so good for me, but in 2009 I started using that passion in a positive way and I'm looking forward to find new, positive things to be passionate about in the upcoming year.
Celebrate others. I'm the card-giving, thank-you-writing type. I try to remember the little things and I honestly feel amazingly happy when something good happens to someone I love or care about. I do my best to celebrate others and, over the past year, I've really tried to look for the good not only in those I love but in everyone. (Not easy, but really useful if you're trying to live a happier life.) When I celebrate others, I feel happy and I want to keep up that happy feeling in 2010.
While looking through an old journal the other day, I found a set of resolutions and I was shocked at howI generic and stereotypical they were. Things like "Lose 10 pounds" and "Shop less" and "Stop drinking" are things that seem silly to me now -- not because they aren't good goals, but because they aren't the kind of goals I now set for myself. Even more shocking to me was the heading above these resolutions: "Resolutions I Wish I Could Keep." Wow. How little I believed in myself, with a title like that! Since the year I wrote those, I've done all of those things and so, so much more. When I re-read those resolutions and the title that pathetically rested above them, I felt sad. I felt sad for my old self, who didn't know that in a few short years, she would be truly, honestly happy and doing things that made her feel like a positive, useful person. I wish I could go back to that January 1st and tell the girl writing in that journal what her life would be like at the turn of the decade, to let her know that she will be happy and she will be productive and she will be doing so many of the things she'd always dreamed about. Of course, we can't go back. We can only live in this moment.
In this moment, I am so thrilled that I can look back on 2009 and, instead of thinking about all of the horrible things I did or all of the habits I desperately need to change, I am writing about all of the things I want to stay the same. I never in a million years thought I would launch a new year with all of the things I liked about the year before. Of course, I can think of things I want to change or goals I want to set for myself, but, generally speaking, I am pretty happy with 2009 and all of the wonderful (sometimes mystifying) changes I went through. While I'm tempted to look to the future and think of all of the things that could (or should) happen in 2010, I'm going to stick to one of my stay-the-same resolutions today and stay present. I have a lot of hope for 2010, but today, this moment, is all I can be certain of so I'm going to focus on today. I'm going to live in the present, positively.