New Year’s is the traditional time for taking stock of where we are in our lives. We make resolutions and set goals for the months ahead. Many resolutions include admirable pledges to exercise more, lose weight, accumulate wealth and be better citizens, spouses, parents or partners. But sometimes we set the bar so high that reaching it quickly becomes a discouraging journey, quickly abandoned.
Oftentimes, what needs to change is not so much our behavior or the trappings of our lives, but something much deeper within us.
To be happy, nobody need move into a monastery or blindly adopt a Shaker-like aesthetic by casting off the trappings of modern civilization.
But what is it you want to accomplish when making a New Year’s resolution?
Are you really more “connected” when you are staring at that new smartphone or computer screen all the time?
Is working insanely long and hard to obtain material possessions really worth ruining your health, or are you left with no time to enjoy those possessions?
Are 1,000 friends on social media really better than one or two with whom you can sit down, share a beer or a cup of coffee, and have a real conversation?
Does sharing half-truths, blindly borrowed from strangers in a vain attempt to share with the whole world our thoughts about current events, adequately satisfy our need to communicate with others?
Do we need to speed up our lives, and take on more diversions, more responsibility, more stress? Or can we learn to be satisfied with less?
A wise man once said the best way to be rich is to make your wants few.
When computers in the workplace or school malfunction and a technician is summoned for assistance, what’s the first thing always asked? We’ve all heard it. “Did you do a full restart?” The vast majority of times, that’s the simple act to unfreeze a balky program or recover a missing document.
Our reflections, as the new year approaches, provide us an opportunity to take similar action – to hit the spiritual reset button.
Lengthy resolution lists are easy. But there is only one real goal. Do what makes you happy – truly happy.
Have a Happy New Year.