The year 2019 is almost here. You might be thinking about a New Year’s resolution, a way to make your life better. If you’ve done this before, you probably focused on some self-improvement goal.
Maybe you resolved to lose 10 pounds, finally sort through clothes you don’t wear anymore, learn a new skill, or save more money. Sound familiar?
But usually, New Year’s resolutions are hard to accomplish. Indeed, research shows that 80% of these fail by early February. Then we end up feeling regretful and frustrated.
I remember a friend who joined the gym the first week of January. She only went to a few exercise classes and didn’t try any of the equipment before dropping out, claiming she couldn’t fit another routine into her busy life. Yes, she was disappointed.
When we try to focus on doing things we don’t like and believe we’re not good at doing them, we fail. And it’s really not surprising.
How about a new approach for 2019?
Try setting what I call a “big grin” intention that could make you happy in the coming months or even longer – throughout the new year.
What can bring you pleasure and make you smile in anticipation? If your aim is enjoyable, there’s a better chance you’ll achieve it.
Some big grin intentions may involve money, but the cash is secondary to the goal itself. For example, maybe you want to facilitate a family reunion and, in doing so, help your children or grandchildren with travel expenses to join the family fun.
Perhaps you want to get healthier. You might sign up for a few yoga classes, maybe with a friend, as part of your plan. It could be you’d like to brighten the color scheme in your home by repainting a wall or hanging a few new inexpensive art prints.
Traveling can be exciting. Your focus might be a series of day trips or an extended getaway. How about a week away to enjoy history, art, great food, and more in a new location? Just name a place you’d like to visit and dream a little as you make plans for yourself, or maybe ask a friend to come along with you.
Or your intention might be to find a rewarding volunteer position in your community or part-time encore career opportunity that pays income and feeds your soul as well.
Working toward a big grin intention is really loads of fun in itself. When you succeed, the sense of accomplishment, the feeling of an aspiration attained, will boost your spirits enormously.
Why? Because you were the one to make it happen. You can realize contentment that’s genuinely meaningful and enriches your life.
In 2019, I intend to write my memoir, my story. Last year, I started working on it, but it wasn’t a priority. Other activities took precedence. I set writing aside, stopped reviewing old photos, and only reread a few of my diaries.
Because of several family events that happened in 2018, including the passing of a longtime friend, I have decided to chronicle my personal story in writing for my adult children and grandchildren. It will be part of my legacy gift for those I love. That’s important to me.
What could be your big grin intention? What will offer you joy and fulfillment in 2019? It’s not too late to think about this, so please do and share your thoughts below.