Independently Happy

I take happiness seriously. So you don't have to.

Three New Years Resolutions to Ensure a Great Year

It’s Resolution Season, that time of year when we all start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. I decided long ago to stop making NYRs, deciding instead that it was better to start or try something new immediately rather than waiting. I did publish goals for a year back 2009, check out New Years RevolutionsSince New Year’s Day is next week, now just happens to be a good time for New Years Resolutions, especially if you decide to start a week early.

The foundation of this philosophy is personal responsibility. Everything for which you take personal responsibility will turn out better than anything you don’t. 

Get it? Resolution. Yep.

Get it? Resolution. Yep.

Goals vs. New Years Resolutions

Since I brought it up, and since bringing things up usually leads me on tangents such as this, let’s discuss the difference between a goal and a resolution, a distinction I did not realize when I wrote New Years Revolutions.

According to Google, a resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” I had not noticed before Googling resolution that it derived from the word resolve, which reminds me of this Foo Fighters song. I hope you find this diverting. 


Enjoy the song as you read along.   

A goal should be specific than a resolution. Google defines a goal as “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.” If you’d like helpful info on SMART goals, check out Michael Hyatt’s Beginner’s Guide to Goal Setting.  

In my opinion, developing resolve and making progress on our resolutions helps us towards achieving our goals. I also believe that reaching goals helps strengthen our resolve. So be sure and break your goals down into smaller goals that you can achieve quickly and easily.  

You didn’t click a link to a blog about goals, though, did you? That’s what the rest of the Internet writes about. Let’s talk about the three resolutions that have really helped me since I resolved to practice them:

  1. Seek what you can Give instead of what you can Get.
 

  2. 
Never again be jealous of something someone else has.


  3. Never again blame anyone else for anything you don’t have.

Seek what you can Give instead of what you can Get

Regardless of what we get, the newness wears away. Over time, regardless of how much we wanted something, the satisfaction slowly fades. We become used to having it, and we want to get to something else.  

Conversely, giving doubles the satisfaction. We feel good for giving, and seeing how good it makes the other person feel doubles the goodness. It makes us want to give something else. We have to have something to give it, so we find creative ways to get those things.

Trying to attain something for someone else motivates us more than trying to attain something for selfish reasons.  

“But Shayne,” you ask, “Isn’t wanting to get things to give them so that we can get better at getting more things, the same thing as just wanting more things.”

I never thought of that, so I’m so glad you asked. Seriously it’s going to be good for an extra 100 words and an excellent point, so I’m thrilled you asked!

That may apply the first time. When we give, though, it feels great. When we see the reaction from the people to whom we give and see how it makes them feel, we grow to appreciate giving over getting.

Interestingly enough, people will want to give us stuff too! People giving us stuff feels so much nicer than getting stuff for ourselves. We feel quadruple great because we gave and someone gave to us, and they fee double great because they gave and saw how much we loved it.  

According to happiness math, that’s like octuple goodness!

Seek what you can #Give instead of what you can Get. Click To Tweet


Resolve to never again be jealous of something someone else has.

In my own life, I employ good jealousy and bad jealousy. I don’t know if good jealousy actually exists, but I use it anyway.  

Good Jealousy

Good jealousy is the jealousy I have of my friend Darren when he’s working on an Extreme Lightscapes Christmas display in Limon, Peru. I’m super-jealous of him! I’m jealous that he gets to do the work he does and that he gets to go travel the country and world to do it.  

I’m also super-happy for him! I’m thrilled for him that he gets to do that. He worked so hard for so long, struggling so much, that he truly deserves what he gets to enjoy.

Being happy for, rather than jealous of, those who are successful makes me feel good. It makes me feel grateful and hopeful.  

Plus I’m thankful that he is successful doing what he does and proving that it is possible to live a wonderful life making an awesome living doing something you love.

Awesome photo was taken by jcchurch1977 at Pixabay.com.

Bad jealousy

(I’ll admit it. I’d love to have a car like Tony Stark’s, the Audi R8.)

Bad jealousy will not do a single, good thing for anyone.

Bad jealousy would be if I resented my friend Darren and wish that he couldn’t do what he does. Bad jealousy would be if I thought it was unfair that he gets to do something awesome, and I don’t. Bad jealousy would be me wishing that something would take away what he has since I don’t get to have it.

Bad jealousy would also be me thinking they he has to give me some of what he’s earned to be fair.

Beware of fair. Click To Tweet

Jealousy and concern for what is fair or unfair often go hand in hand.  

I’ve grown pretty immune to bad jealousy now. I can’t actually recall being jealous anytime recently.  I enjoy that because bad jealousy feels bad. It feels dark, dirty and hopeless, from what I can remember.  

If you want to work on good jealousy, by all means, do so.  

However, we should work to avoid jealousy completely.


Resolve to never again be jealous of something someone else has. Click To Tweet

Resolve to never again blame anyone else for anything you don’t have

This one is tough. It is so tempting to put the blame on someone else for our lot in life. I didn’t fail life; life failed me.   

Blaming someone else, even if it could be argued that the situation is their fault, does us no good. It gives someone else the power.  It renders us helpless to our own well-being. Pardon my Frances, but that would just suck.

Not blaming someone else means we’re taking responsibility. Taking responsibility means we’re taking control, taking power. It’s heavy, but it’s liberating. Something being heavy and liberating might be difficult to accept. Have you ever tried to lift a helicopter? 

Many can influence my destiny, but I control it. What I do determines my results. What they do can influence my results, but only as a result of how I react.  

Learn to embrace that control.  

Resolve to never again blame anyone else for anything you don't have Click To Tweet

Adopting these three philosophies is so liberating. It puts the pressure on me to improve my own life, but I also realize that I have the power. I don’t have to wait and hope for good things to happen. I don’t have to wait for someone to rescue me.  I make good things happen. I’m the rescuer.  

Don’t wait. Make good things happen. Be the rescuer.

I recommend this lovely, printable reminder to display on your refrigerator or work area.

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