A New Year's Pledge

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Lesli NolenBy Lesli Nolen

Published January 2012

Happy New Year!!

Years ago, I would make a New Year resolution or several of them. I couldn’t wait for the New Year. I was determined to be so much better the coming year than I had ever been before. I was either going to lose weight, eat healthier, work out more, spend more quality time with family or spend more time reading (what I love to do); whatever it was, it was going to make me . . . a better me!

I would start off great in January. I would set my goals and hit it full force. February would come along and, well, life would happen—I would get busy and get off track. I would tell myself, “I will start again next week.” Or, “OK, next week for sure.” Before I knew it April and May would come and go and “next week” would never happen. So, after a few years of this I quit making New Year’s resolutions altogether. 

After some careful thought, I decided this year I would give it another shot. But, I must admit I was a little hesitant. I knew I had to set a  goal that is realistic and has to be something I can achieve. So, I decided my New Year resolution for 2012 would be to live a little better today than I did yesterday.

With this resolution, I don’t have to plan a specific menu, I don’t have to feel guilt when I don’t work out or exercise as much as I would like, I don’t have to feel all the burdens of what I didn’t get accomplished. I just have to be a little better today than I was yesterday.

In order for me to reach this goal I have twelve inspirational quotes. One for each month. I have made copies of these and have placed them in my car, at my office and have the first one taped to my bathroom mirror. This will remind me of my goal everyday—or that’s the plan anyway! Just in case you would like to join me in this I have included my 12 quotes, below:

“The consequences of today are determined by the actions of the past. To change your future, alter your decisions today.”

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
—Albert Einstein

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
– Abraham Lincoln

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
– Alexander Graham Bell

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience”
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Everything around us is made up of energy. To attract positive things in your life, start by giving off positive energy.

“Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you’re alive, it isn’t.”
—Richard Bach

“It doesn’t matter where you are, you are nowhere compared to where you can go.”
—Bob Proctor

“All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.”
—Walt Disney

“The only reason we don’t have what we want in life is the reasons we create why we can’t have them.”
—Tony Robbins

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”
—Wayne Gretzky

I came up with this idea of  living a little better every day, one morning when I was  listening to the syndicated Christian radio station, K-Love. Every Monday morning they have what they call “Make a Difference Monday.” They ask the listeners to share a story of how you have made a difference in someone’s life or how someone has made a difference in your life. It’s very encouraging and uplifting (especially on a Monday morning) to hear how everyday people make a difference in other people’s lives. Gestures can be as small as holding the door open for someone, letting someone in line behind you go in front of you or—the most recent one I’ve heard this holiday season—paying off someone’s  lay-away Christmas purchase at a store. These people did something for someone else without asking anything in return. I’d say they lived better that day than they did the day before.

I aspire to live that way every day in 2012. I want to make a conscious choice to make a difference in someone’s life. Whether I choose to read Skylar a book instead of doing the dishes, walk the dog instead of watching TV, or have a candlelight dinner with my family, I want to chose life, a good life. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to make a difference, nor does it mean you have to give something up or that you have do without. It simply means doing something for someone else; it’s the little things that mean the most.

I hope that whatever your resolution is for 2012 you reach that goal and that this year is your best year yet.  I hope you aspire to be better today than you were yesterday.

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