Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Looking Back at New Year's Resolutions

It is hard to believe that today is February 2, 2016. It seems that only yesterday it was January 1, 2016 and everyone was ready to change their life into something blissful. Then January 2nd came, and everything returned to looking bleak. It is a telling point in our society that if we do not get results immediately or get the results that we want, we simply give up and wait for another year, month, or some other time to begin making resolutions and dreams into realities.

If you you subscribe to the above mentioned philosophy, I hope that after reading this post that you will unsubscribe from such nonsense. Many of the greatest achievements of mankind have taken months and years to come to fruition. Let me provide two examples. First, the United States Constitution. When the original Articles of Confederation were deemed to weak to sustain a government, a convention was called to revise the articles into something stronger. On May 14, 1787 the date came for representatives to show up and discuss amendments. However, only representatives from two states (Virginia and Pennsylvania) showed up. Eventually, the other states representatives showed up and after arguing, debating, changing, and restructuring for about 4 months, the Constitution was ratified by the delegates and sent to the states for ratification. 229 years later it still stands as the supreme law of the land.

A second example would be that of Mr. Thomas Edison, who is famously credited for inventing the light bulb and saying " I didn't fail. I just found 2,000 ways not to make a light bulb; I only needed to find one way to make it work." It took him over a year and nearly killing himself several times, but regardless of his failure at times to make it work, he did not stop until he successfully did make it work.

These two examples, and many others could be cited, give us empirical evidence that although it may take many attempts, it is often worth it to keep trying until your goal is accomplished. In the case of New Year's Resolutions, resist the urge to quit when you have a slip up. Instead, admit to it, and the next day start fresh with your plan. It may take longer than a year for your resolutions to become complete; that is perfectly fine. What is important is that you make changes so that your resolutions can become realities.

I mentioned in my first post of the year what my resolutions were, and I want to grade myself on each one. Some of them have been amended : 1. Arise at 6:30 each morning (C), 2. Limit myself to one hour of Netflix/Video Games per day unless a date is involved (C), 3. Read a book each week (now every two weeks) and write a review on Amazon and the blog (D) 4. Write a blog post weekly (A) 5. Read 12 pages of scripture per day (C) 6. Save half of my paycheck (after tithing) (A) 7. Write in my journal each day (B) 8. Go on a date each week (A) 9. Donate plasma twice per week (F) 10. Attend the temple weekly (this was not possible as my recommend had been taken for lack of tithe paying, but I now have it back. This will be graded next month.

Don't give up on yourself. If you want to make a change in your life, you can. But you have to be honest with yourself, include the help of others (including accountability), and make adjustments if some goals are not compatible with the time you have (such as my book reading.) Hope that you resolutions have a higher grade this month than they did last month, and I will revisit this topic at the beginning of each month.

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