Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The one 2013 Resolution you should make (and keep)...

You may have noticed I've been taking a bit of a hiatus from blogging this week. The truth is I've been faced with some big life decisions lately, and my feeble brain can only handle one thing at a time. Apologies.

When last we met, I was ranting about my undying hatred for New Years Eve. For those keeping score at home, still hate it. But what I forgot to mention was New Years Day is one of my favorite days of the year. For me, it's an opportunity for a fresh start -- a chance to turn the page on bad decisions, toxic relationships, and other disappointments and to chart a new course for my life.

Fresh starts are one of my favorite things. Like clean sheets, a first kiss and a new box of crayons all rolled into one.

As I do every year, I started a new journal for 2013 and wrote a list of my goals for the year on the front page. The list includes some greatest hits (Be Healthy and Fit) and a few new ones (Find an Agent). I wrote down 11 goals in total. Then a funny thing happened. A few hours later, I got an email.

It was from my grandmother. She voiced her own 'Amen' to my anti-NYE rantings and then ended with this gentle reminder:

"You are in charge of your choices... Never stop believing that you can do whatever you want to do in life. It seemed when I was young that life was forever - it's not. One has a finite length of time - use it well and enjoy everything along the way." 

I closed my laptop, picked up my journal, and made a new list: Be Happy Today.

Believe it or not, in all of those years I've been setting goals for myself, not once have I ever written down those words. Happiness was what, I imagined, came after I lost those last 5 pounds or published my first book or found the right person to share my life with. It was always tied to events in the future, events that I often had no control over.

My grandmother's email reminded me that life is about choices, and happiness is one of them. So this year, my first and only resolution is to Be Happy Today. Each day, I search the nooks and crannies of my life to identify and eliminate sources of unhappiness and to make room for the things/people that bring me joy. As I hinted at in the beginning of this post, that daily reassessment has already brought about some life-changing decisions. I'll be talking about them, as well as strategies for taking responsibility for your joy in the coming days and weeks. Stay tuned!

But in the meanwhile, a little suggestion to anyone reading this: Become a copycat. Steal my resolution. Make your own daily happiness a priority this year. Stop putting it off. Who's with me?