Well, here we are, well into the new year with our holidays behind us. It kind of reminds me of the old Mac Davis song “Texas in My Rear View Mirror.” All the stress of planning, preparing, shopping  wrapping, cleaning and cooking—all in that rear view mirror, no returns now! 

Of course, for most of us, we love to see the holidays approaching but we stress about making things just right. I’m at that age now that I can sit back and say that it’s over planned, overdone and that I’m just worn out.  Then what do we do? We immediately start setting goals! 

Setting Goals

Goals are good just as long as they aren’t unreasonable like losing a ton of weight in a short time, or religiously working out when we hate exercise. If you don’t believe it, just drive by a fitness gym in the new year and look at the parking lot. Then go back about April or May. Hmm, where is everybody? Life is hard, we don’t need to look for more stress. But don’t think we can just lay down on the couch all year either.


So, what is my alternative? I simply determine that I can do better and will do better. I know when I am not eating the food that is good for me. I know when I stay on the computer too long instead of resting. So I am going to pick words to guide me instead of hard-set goals. 

My 2024 words:
  1. Responsibility. I am going to take the responsibility to provide myself with more rest, healthier foods and more walks in nature. 
  2. Caring. My promise to myself to think before judging. Perhaps, the guy that cut me off in traffic just lost his job and is stressed. I don’t really need to honk at him.
  3. Thoughtful. The neighbor two doors down whose wife has Alzheimer’s—I can do more than think “Oh how sad.” I can take a minute every week or so to send a note to just say “Thinking of you. Can I do something to help you?”
  4. Gratitude. I will be aware of my days and find something, regardless how small, to be grateful for that day. I’m sure I will feel more joy when I pay attention to the small things. 
  5. Love. Loving others may come naturally, but do we love ourselves? Too often the answer is no. I pledge to myself to find things, actions or thoughts that I love about myself. How do we expect others to love us if we can’t love ourselves?

No hard goals to stress me more. No beating myself up when I forget or fail. I can remember my chosen words and find ways to take action for each one. I know those around me will benefit. I believe that I will feel good when the next new year rolls around. Give it a try, what will your words be this year?

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