A new perspective on New Year’s Resolutions

by Evan Crockett

January is a time for new beginnings. From the top of the New Year, we look out across the coming days and months, anticipating progress, penciling in plans, and breaking ground on resolutions. Our New Year’s goals are important to us, but what do they really mean in the end if they don’t bring us closer to those around us?

How can a slight change in the way we view and approach our resolutions bring desired individual growth and foster powerful opportunities to connect with those around us?

A New Approach

Explore with us this new perspective — there is a way to deepen our sense of satisfaction as we work toward our personal objectives. Inherent in the very nature of most goals is an invitation to be with, share with, listen to, and celebrate the people right around us.

For example, some of us may resolve to lose weight — a worthy goal. This process usually involves careful planning, meal preparation, exercise objectives, and a healthy supply of grit. Hidden within these processes, however, are countless daily opportunities for connection with others. We could invest time in working side-by-side with a child preparing a healthy meal together; we could involve a loved one in an exercise routine; we could even be the one inviting the family outside to toss a football around or throw a Frisbee.

Over time, these seemingly unremarkable moments become the glue that binds us together in healthy ways,

resulting in a greater sense of satisfaction and support as we work to lose weight. Another personal resolution might be to read one or two books each month. We might take time to teach something we have learned to a spouse or a child, or discover an exciting story together by reading with each other. The same holds true for other goals — working out, saving money, getting organized, etc.

If our process of achieving, eating, working, and playing includes an effort to nurture our daily connections, then none of our efforts will be lost. And when January 1st rolls around again, whether or not we achieved our specific goals,

we will have great satisfaction knowing that our days counted for more than just motions.

This year, as we “get serious” about our goals and resolutions, we can ask ourselves this question: “Today, how will I connect with those right around me?” Nurtured or neglected, the sum of these opportunities to connect unmistakably impacts our lives, our well-being, our happiness. We can bear in mind that most meaningful progress happens almost imperceptibly as we approach our interactions with new eyes. Seeing the everyday is choosing to see daily activities as opportunities to connect, feel, and interact — to be a part of one another’s life. Reflecting on the far-reaching fruit of these daily connections over time reminds us that nothing is really routine.

Originally published at seeingtheveryday.com on January 13, 2015.

All photos by Bradley Slade.

Seeing the Everyday is a quarterly, advertisement-free magazine. Our mission is to explore how to make everyday, seemingly insignificant events and interactions more meaningful and effective.

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