How to Win Friends and Influence People this New Year: Namely Yourself

As you already know from the previous post, I’m  no longer a fan of the New Year resolution.  Through my own experience and that of my friends, family and acquaintances, I’ve noticed a disturbing pattern. Our good intentions manifest into rigid rules, that if broken, evolve into self loathing and condemnation. Isn’t each proclaimed resolution suppose to improve our lives in some way and by virtue our self esteem? Unalterable rules and behavior don’t do that. However,  since resolutions are in our cultural DNA I set about finding some. Low and behold I found resolutions from 1915 that not only awakened my common senses but also my own inherent need for flexibility and self compassion. I can only imagine I am not the only one in need of these things. As you click the picture to read these: notice that one side issues a Resolve meaning “to state formally; to decide firmly, and the other a Resolution meaning “determination; solution to a problem.” Based on this you can’t create a solution to a problem (a Resolution) without proclaiming formally your firm decision on how to go forward. Even in your decision these 1909 Resolutions leave room to be human by stating: “Resolve to keep them as long as you can.” However, notice the absence of the phrase “and if you can’t keep them don’t try again and just give up because you’re hopeless.” That’s not written here, although millions of us have added that caveat to all our previous resolutions all the previous years before. I guess what I’m attempting to say, in as many words as possible, is that I need a kinder gentler guide from my life, written out, with little room for complicating it up. Because this New Year I am interested in winning my friendship and influencing myself for the better.

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