Today, on New Years' Day, people around the globe are resolving to change things for themselves, and maybe even starting to make their resolutions happen! How exciting!! Exciting, because resolutions are commitments we make to ourselves based on what we want. In essence, making resolutions is choosing happiness.
Two of my current commitments to myself (resolutions) are 1) to be aware of when I judge things, particularly my experiences as they unfold and 2) to make decisions towards my happiness.
The second one is basically a resolution to resolve to keep making resolutions :) It takes a belief that many of us share - that happiness is a totally valid and desirable choice - and turning it into more consistent action. What does that mean? With awareness of the fact that we are constantly making choices, I can weigh the options for a decision based on which one is going to be the strongest stepping stone towards my dreams and happiness. Once the choice is made, I do not worry or have regrets because I took my best shot! Even if my choice doesn't lead where I expect. This doesn't mean to be self-indulgent and act without considering others, because that would not be acting with long-term happiness in mind - sometimes, a deathbed perspective can be useful in paring the options down to what we really want.
As for being aware of judging, my greatest source of discomfort comes from judging things as they happen, not just evaluating them. I find myself judging my effectiveness as a parent, at work, even how well I mopped the floor. The more I judge, the less I move into what I want to be: a happy do-er.
Hey, there's nothing that makes a New Years' resolution work better than a resolution made any other day of the year. Whatever your resolutions may be, I'm rooting for you! And I invite you to join me in staying in touch with yourself and what you want, all year long. Happy Every Day of the Year!
If you like making resolutions and seeing how you can take action to change your life for yourself, pick up Happiness is a Choice by Barry "Bears" Neil Kaufman. A beautifully concise and eloquent gem, this book had a huge impact on me and the way I live my life, as it has for many others.