Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Second Week

Made all these goals last week when I was filled with the excitement of the new year. Still have some of that, but the shiny is wearing off. It's the beginning of the slog, the necessary trudging that new habits require to fasten into place. This is the place where people give up, make excuses, fall gratefully back into the familiar, the safe, the rut.

It's easy to do. Our old habits are fighting back. We have our reasons, our excuses, our justifications: We're busy, we're tired, we're not good enough, we're too old, we're too young, next week we'll do better, next month we line ourselves back up. Who do we think we are, anyway?

The days flee by, and soon we're staring at another new year and think, "I didn't change last year so why should this new year be any different?" And we sink back with our regrets and chocolates and TV remotes, and in the end, that's our life.

Or...maybe...we can choose something different. We can make one new habit each month. One good habit. We can recycle cans, give up sugary soft drinks, send money to our favorite charity, write a letter of praise to a friend, sing happily at church, volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate clothes to the homeless shelter, hug those who will be hugged, pray for those who need to know someone is praying, check out books from the library, aid the literary council, walk 15 minutes in the sunshine, sincerely compliment one person a day for a week, be kind in real ways, be a listening ear and offer a caring heart...oh, the world has such needs and we can't fulfill them because we're just ourselves, but we can do what we can.

It's not such a hard thing to change things when you look at it like that--just one new good habit a month for a year. And that good year would be followed by another and another and another, and then at the end, it would be a good life. A very good life.

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