So let’s be real… I’m tired of false promises and fake resolutions (where I tell myself I’m going to go to the gym 4 times a week and stop eating cheese).
Instead, I’d like to offer up some very realistic “self-promise” ideas that will help enrich our twenty-seven-teens.
Note: No, you don’t need to promise everything on this list… but I urge you to at least pick a few to work on… I know you can do it!
Promise to be considerate. There may be days where you think your problems are more important, more valuable, or worse – than everyone else. This is a very friendly reminder to… wake the F up. There are billions of people in this world and every single person is living a path that is important, valuable, and in many cases, (especially in various underprivileged parts of the world), people are likely in a much worse position than you. I remind you to remain considerate – for we are all fighting our own battles and I can guarantee there are a lot more blessings than “bad things” in your life. I know you’re bound to have a few really bad days this year, but please try your best to not take it out on the people who love you… or the grocery store cashier… or through road rage. Take a deep breath – you will get through it.
Promise to keep informed. We are bombarded with horrible CNN news pieces about everything that is bad… to the point where we just want to turn it all off and hide under our covers… But – I urge you not to. I know these harmful stories can hurt, that they can depress you. However, I urge you to keep from turning ignorant. I urge you to keep living your life with understanding and with a push to learn as much as you can about the worlds horrors. Stay informed so that you can stay educated, smart, and prepared. The more we know, the more we are able to teach others, to spark discussion, and to create change when we are outraged!
Promise to be kind. This unsettled world seems to keep getting crazier and crazier… With a wild 2016 – filled with global heartbreak, terrorism, sexism, hate speech, racism, war, destruction, and more… I’m here to remind you that though there is some very bad, there is still SO MUCH GOOD… you just have to look for it. Don’t forget to look within your community to see the many good things going on. Don’t forget to volunteer your time – to give back and see the good within yourself as well. Kindness has a ripple effect… pass it on and you’ll be amazed how much light you can ignite around you.
Promise to keep learning. Whether you have graduated, are still in school, or are retired…don’t stop learning. You are never too old or too young to learn something new. I want you to open up your mind and use the magic tool we all have… THE INTERNET! You have access to so many things… use it. Watch videos, tutorials, read articles, sign up for a new class or course. You are capable of more than you know – so give it a go.
Promise to be on time. Time is precious – so don’t waste yours, mine, or anyone else’s. Arrive on time to your important meeting, show up to your child’s play, and be present for that coffee date. Time is constantly passing and something we can never get back, so please use yours with tenderness, caution, and respect. Oh – and put your damn phone down.
Promise to not make excuses. When we get tired, stressed, or overwhelmed, we start to lie and make excuses. In 2017, don’t dig yourself into these holes. We make excuses because we get caught, or are afraid to admit the truth for whatever reason. Throw that bad energy away and own your feelings and decisions. Speak more truth. If you’re tired and have no energy to go to a party – make the decision and be honest – no one wants to hear your lame excuse (they know you’re lying). If you’re not feeling your relationship – tell them, instead of hurting them more by stringing them along. Be real with yourself and the people around you – you’ll be respected more this way.
Promise to make time for family, but to also take care of yourself. “Family comes first” – yes, but only when that family member is also contributing to your relationship. We always hear the phrase that family comes first, and in most cases this is true – we must not take for granted the ones that we love. However, in some unfortunate cases, some of us have family members – maybe an uncle, a cousin, or a parent – who really hasn’t been there for us, or maybe has gotten into a lot of trouble, or isn’t healthy for us to interact with. Remind yourself that it is okay to admit that you will always love these people, but that maybe you need to distance yourself from them, or let them go… Your own health and happiness is just as important as family. Plus – family isn’t always just whose DNA you share… sometimes the people who are more deserving of our love and time are those who choose to love us, no matter our blood relation.
Promise to participate. When we get home from work it is easy to flick on Netflix and call it a day. However, I urge you to get out into your community and participate. Attend a council meeting, join a volleyball team, go to the gym, start a charity initiative… Don’t you remember how fun it was to play on a team as a kid? It’s hard to get outside your comfort zone as a adult, but amazing things happen when you do.
Promise to make time for your pets. Yes, some of us are obsessed with our pets and can’t seem to leave them alone for two minutes, but even the best of pet owners get busy and forgetful. We love our pets, but sometimes our lives get out of control and we forget to give them the attention they deserve and need. Take some extra time to remember to spend time with your pet. Have a snuggle, go for a walk, play with them, give them an extra pet or treat. Remember, these animals thrive on your love – they can’t take care of themselves and need you to survive and to be happy!
Promise to give credit where credit is due. As the new year begins, we tend to think about all the things we accomplished and all the things we hope to accomplish in the next year ahead. Give yourself the credit you deserve for all the wonderful things you were able to do in 2016… big and small. Pat yourself on the back for everything you survived and got through… you deserve it. Also remember to thank the people that helped you through… give credit to those who helped you make a hard decision, or who babysat your kids over the last year, or the woman who found your missing dog. We encounter so many people in our lives who help us in big and small ways… and it’s never to late to say thank you.
Promise to be yourself and to take care of yourself. Social media is a slow killer. We spend so much time comparing our lives to others that we start to feel like sh*t. In some cases, we start to fabricate our lives, altering perceptions that maybe we’re much happier, or much richer, or much cooler, (by society standards) and end up living a life that isn’t authentic. Some of us will also take to extremes and try to lose drastic weight, or become so consumed with perfection that we let our minds travel into dark places of self-hate. Promise to take care of your body and mental health – and to ask for help when you are struggling. Promise to stay true to who you are and to not try so hard to fit in…. You are you and that is more than enough.
Promise to make time for friends. I get it, we all get busy and it’s hard to make time to meet up. However – we can text, we can Skype, we can FaceTime – it’s the 21st century here people. It is hard to stay in touch when there is so much going on in our work and relationship circles, but we need to make the effort. The whole “if you have to try it isn’t worth it” thing is super bullsh*t – relationships aren’t suppose to just be easy… they’re suppose to be messy and bumpy and a challenge to maintain. True friends won’t care that you dont text them everyday – especially if there is a physically geographic distance between you – but be sure to check in at least once a month. Also be sure to genuinely cherish that one night you have every few months where you actually see each other face to face – oh, and don’t forget their birthdays! Sending flowers is never a bad touch.
Promise to give back. We all get into a selfish mode every once and a while – which is absolutely OK – as long as you snap out of it and reassess your priorities. Try not to forget how amazing it feels to give back and to do things for people other than yourself. Yes, you deserve to treat yourself, but I can promise it feels better to treat someone else. This could be taking your mom out for a surprise pedicure to thank her for all that she does, volunteering at the food bank, or just paying for someone’s Tim Hortons! Giving back, no matter how small, will help to fulfill your life.
Promise to bend every single one of these promises at some point – because life is both messy, and too short, – no one is perfect.
Have a happy and blessed 2017.