Happy New Year’s Eve!
25 New Year Resolutions Promises –
I’m like most of you. I’ve made New Year’s Resolutions, right before I broke every one of them. So, this year I’ve decided to make some New Year Promises instead.
Let me explain:
I was eleven when my mother informed me that I needed to make some New Year’s Resolutions like a big girl. I was supposed to write out my list carefully and let her approve it, before taping it on the mirror in my bedroom.
- The list was simple: The first item was to resolve to curl and comb my hair. Mom had always fixed my hair. It was time for me to learn how to do it.
- My second resolution: Was to give up candy after school and only eat an approved dessert after dinner. (Yup, my pudgy-homely stage hit at age eleven!)
- The Third Resolution: I would attend church every Sunday and not daydream during the sermon.
It seemed like such an easy list of resolutions. I knew I could do it.
On the way home from school, on January 5th, one of the neighbor kids offered me half her Milky Way bar. I eagerly took the first bite before I remembered I’d made a Resolution not to eat candy after school.
I hated my ugly ponytail. In late January, I locked the bathroom door as I took comb and scissors to my rather drab hair. The results quickly became catastrophic. I cried so hard that mom allowed me to play sick from school the next day so she could get me in to see her beautician for an attempt to even things up and cover up the mess with a new perm.
As for church? I’m betting all of you at one time caught yourself daydreaming during a long and monotonous sermon.
So, I trashed my three Resolutions by the twenty-fourth day of January.
From that year to this, I’ve never made another Resolution. It’s my decision I’m incapable of keeping a Resolution.
What I do know about myself, however, is that I treasure promises like the National Treasure in the Nicholas Cage movie.
I’m excellent at keeping promises, unless or until dementia finally settles in and I forget about them through no real fault of my own.
So, here are my suggestions for “Promises” you can make to yourself and your family, friends, or business associates for the coming year:
I Promise to:
There has been far too much hatred and finger-pointing in this country over the past twelve+ months. It’s time we all slow down for a minute and understand each of us has benefited from sacrifices made by men and women of all backgrounds and religions. We are not asked to accept or adopt; we are only expected to tolerate and applaud those differences that make us unique.
I’m not the only one who needs to make this promise. We are all far too stressed out. I just lost a dear friend who was only in his early seventies. That’s far too soon to have to say goodbye.
Honor your immediate family by making this promise to them during the holiday season. It will be the best present they’ve ever received from you.
Increase Family Time—
I haven’t always had a problem with this, but with the many changes social media has brought into this world, I’m struggling.
It’s my goal to turn the computer off by mid-evening so that I can spend quality time with my husband. By that time, he’s already engrossed in a television show. I get bored not knowing what the show is about and catch myself reaching for the Kindle to erase a few more emails before tomorrow morning.
Poor choices! It’s past time to promise my significant other that I will devote more quality time to him in the coming year. A New Year Promise doesn’t get any better than this!
Turn off the Television and Turn on the Music –
Canceling the TV and turning on the music is an easy one for me. I’ve always preferred to listen to music over watching television. I’ve even put together an “Easy Listening” collection on my Pinterest page.
Go check it out. You might get some ideas on how to put together your playlist.
Develop Healthy Sleep Habits –
I never dreamed I’d have a problem with this one, but before and since my hip surgery I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in nearly three years. My problem before surgery was with the pain.
The problem with surgery is the terror the surgeon carved in my heart with his words that I could never again allow my legs to get closer together than the width of my shoulders.
Have you ever tried to sleep at night trying to find positions and pillows to help you achieve something this insane?
Let me know if you have any great solutions for this one!
Share the Family Treasures and Stories—
All it takes is for more than a few of your classmates to die to make you aware that you’re getting older.
I ‘ve already started this one. For Christmas, I’ve wrapped up some of the family treasures as gifts for my children, complete with one or two typed pages of the stories behind the precious objects I’m now passing on. (I shared treasures like the World’s Fair Cup from St. Louis, and my mom’s trip there!)
Don’t go to your grave without sharing the family stories. You don’t have to write a book. Do a few pages at a time.
Exercise Daily –
I promise to honor the dedicated surgeons who gave me the use of my leg back by trying to keep my body healthy and vigorous. I’ve learned from experience that I don’t have to go to the gym. We can all celebrate some serious health benefits by using weights and taking simple walks.
Stop Procrastinating –
It’s time to finish the edits on my new mystery novel, “Secrets of the Lake” and complete book 3 of the Middle-Grade segment of the Elle Burton Series. The fourth book will be for young adults.
Use the comments below and let me know what you hope to accomplish in 2017.
Reduce Spending –
I promise myself to do more research before hiring anyone to help do marketing of my books.
I spent $300 last June on what I thought was a big name in book marketing and I’ve received nothing but excuses ever since.
If you read my old blog, you’ll know I spent $1,500 on a book trailer that the vendors didn’t produce.
I managed to get half the money back from the man involved, but the woman kept her half of the money. She stated her expenses had been higher than she expected after the webinar and she had nothing left of the money I sent her.
Don’t be impressed by flashy gimmicks!!
Carve out more time for my Favorite Things –
I love to read, but instead of reading 1 or 2 books a week over the past two years, I’ve struggled to find the time to read 1 or 2 a month. It’s way past time for me to go back to enjoying the things I like, how about you?
Ignore the Messes
I’ve learned there are things far more important than a spotless house. We live here. You are welcome to stop by anytime, but the house may not be perfectly clean, and the laptop may be sitting in the middle of everything again.
Spend More Time with the Kids
How many of you are empty-nesters, living more than fifty miles away from your children and grandchildren? I have a dear friend in Israel who travels to the United States for several months each winter to spend time with her family there. Mine live roughly 86 miles away and yet it seems like they live in another country when the winds blow and the snow flies.
A recent death in the family has convinced me I need to make a stronger effort now that I can walk normally again to make more trips to see them.
Control the Amount of Time Spent on Social Media
This one is an easily accomplished New Year Promise.
After my hip surgery, I was barely able to manage an hour a day online for nearly two months. The habit of being “Present” for my fans at all times resolved itself. I’ve already accomplished this one before January first. Now I pop in and out, and I love the amount of freedom and time I have back.
Learn a New Skill or Revive an Old One
I’m not exactly sure what I’ll promise myself for this one. What I can tell you, is that I miss watercolor art. I haven’t been active in my art groups for nearly two years now, and there’s a part of who I am that’s been missing. What dreams do you have to learn a new skill or art form?
Improve Confidence Levels
This promise carries a history for far too many women and minorities of mistreatment and condemnation.
For me, the conditioning of a father and an ex-husband that I was inferior hurts to this day.
Why do we believe we have the right to judge anyone’s honest attempts?
Isn’t it time we encourage and applaud the accomplishments of those who struggle to find their way?
Develop Better Sleep Habits
I heard on the news this morning that the life expectancy reduction in 2016 is something like 13% for those not getting enough sleep.
Lack of adequate sleep has been an on-going struggle for me for too many years.
In the days after the car accident, I was forced to take narcotics to get even a few hours of sleep each night. The intensity of the pain can’t be described adequately.
The same outcome became true both before and after the surgery to fix my hip.
I’m outraged at the amount of oxycodone given to me after the surgery.
Too many people struggle with addiction, and it’s crazy how easy we make it for that to happen. I learned quickly after the car wreck that the narcotics eliminated my ability to function.
My fear of addiction prompted me to take only one pill a day, and that was before bed so I could sleep.
That became my routine again after this surgery. This time around, it was this only way I could get my leg to stop jerking when I went to bed.
I’m working hard to find sleep habits that don’t involve any pills. Today, taking a sleeping pill is necessary so I can get more than 3-4 hours of sleep per day.
Do you struggle to get enough sleep? What works for you?
I’ve volunteered to help organizations my entire life, starting with playing the organ at church when I was only nine. ‘
For several years I haven’t been physically able to do that.
It’s time to get involved again. I can’t wait to renew this New Year Promise!
What type of volunteer work are you currently doing and has it made a difference in your life?
Renew Friendships & Meet New People
This promise to renew friendships is exciting for me.
After being a prisoner in my house for two years, I’m anxious to get out (when the snow is gone) to see old friends. It’s been an incredibly lonely time as I’ve been isolated from the outside world due to disability for the second time in my life. Thankfully, it only took the docs two years to finally get around to a solution this time. (It took five years after the car wreck to find solutions that worked.)
How many times have you wished you’d spent more time with someone after they were unexpectedly lost to you forever?
We forget how precious life is.
It doesn’t last forever, but we can make every moment precious!
Publish multiple books in 2017
It’s time to get back to writing.
I’m working on two books I hope to have published before Christmas of 2017.
What are you willing to promise yourself for the coming year? Do you have something special you want to accomplish?
Show Respect & Expect Great Things from Our New Leaders
Everyone has a potential for greatness, and that’s what I’m going to expect from our new leadership. I fully intend to give them a chance, but I warn you…I have no intention of giving them a pass on matters of health, environment, and human decency.
Share Romantic Moments
There will never be a time when I take this man I’m married to for granted.
I heard him sneak in to check to make sure my legs were in the correct position for sleeping after the surgery. He got up numerous times each night to make sure I was safe.
He tells me I’m the kindest person he’s ever met.
His is the kind of love I’ve always dreamed of, and now that I can walk again, I fully intend to create more memorable moments in our lives.
What is your wish for sharing the joy of life with the one you love this coming year?
Do you have a New Year Promise for your significant other?
Eliminate the Unnecessary
Is it okay for me to whine a bit here?
I’ve had to move out and dispose of all the belongings of three family members over the past twenty-five years.
This involved multiple moves for two of the three, downsizing at each move. The process is grueling, and no one should ever have to do this alone. I will reach seventy this year, and it’s time I begin the process of downsizing, so my children don’t have to do it when I’m too old to help.
Retain the Family History
Years ago, I started documenting our history when I wrote a cookbook for the kids with all the old family recipes.
I gathered the best recipes from my childhood and those things my children loved best. It took weeks to make color collages of pictures dating back to my mother’s childhood, which I used to separate the chapters.
For Christmas this year, I wrapped up dozens of family heirlooms and collectibles for the boys for Christmas. Each present also consists of one or two typewritten pages of the history behind the gift.
Hopefully, they will cherish these memories as much as I do.
Take a trip to a U.S. or Foreign Destination
We head south every winter to spend three months with my brother. I cherish those days when we become a close-knit family again.
Hopefully, we will be able to travel again this year. I still have a few states left on my bucket list to make it to the entire 50, and my husband hasn’t been to Niagara Falls yet.
We’re also traveling to Puerto Vallarta where my youngest son and his love will marry in May. I can’t wait. For the first time in over thirty years, I’ll get to see my foreign exchange student from Pueblo again.
Do you have any plans to go someplace new in 2017?
Maintain/Improve Concentration and Strength
2017 is the year of recovery.
I have a way to go in getting back my stamina and strength after being unable to leave my chair for two years.
It’s also a time when I know the importance of challenging my mind daily.
My mother was sharp as a tack, but her sister struggled with dementia that last five years of her life. The progression of the dementia was devastating to watch. I’m going to do whatever I can to make certain my mind remains sharp like mothers.
Do you have any tips for me?
Exercising the brain is a New Year Promise that’s incredibly important for all of us to make.
Will You Create New Year Resolutions or New Year Promises This Year?
Well, that’s my list of promises for 2017. I’ve rarely, if ever, broken a promise. Making promises in writing seems like a much better idea to me than making secret resolutions I won’t keep. I might have a chance to succeed for the first time using this new mindset.
Please share your thoughts and tips in the comments. I have an aggressive list of accomplishments to meet, and I’ll need some serious support to get through it all.
Be Safe. Be Loved. Pass It On!
By: Peggy M McAloon