Are New Year's Resolution Rituals a Good Thing?

Jan 15th 2016

For as long I can remember, it has always been a Steier family tradition to write our New Year resolutions during New Year’s dinner because writing them out and saying them was a way to “claim them”, which is our theory.
For many years we would tape our lists on our private mirrors until the kids found a way to remove them when they started to look bleak and that they might not happen. With all the new technology, we film them now and watch them from the prior year before we start. This has made me realize five important takeaways:

  1. I only deliver on 60% of what I write out as an annual average since I have tracked it!
  2. There are things I always want to do, but never get to because of a lack of personal work life balance that I have never conquered.
  3. Time goes by very fast and the line “this is not a dress rehearsal” by Rose Tremain is more true at nearly age 50 for me then when I was 30.
  4. My kids see how hard it is to execute on their big dream goals because of the sacrifice it really requires. It is more about personal choice than even parenting.
  5. A new start with deep reflection reviewing prior year failures and setbacks is therapeutic and really needed to correct bad habits (at least for me).

Just to increase my own personal accountability and so I feel the pressure to really deliver on the year I embrace being 50, here are mine for 2016:

  1. Get my faith back on track with more daily structure and quiet down the secular noise around me.
  2. Put more time in with my entire family and each of my four children individually. Over the holidays I saw that each has unique life obstacles and special aspirations. I cannot help manifest their journey in a group setting.
  3. Embrace my profession and industry as a true leader who can lead without fear during uncertain times, discern critical decisions with boldness and dig in side by side with my people to show them I understand the work.
  4. Become a better problem solver and true innovator. Healthcare is going through a dramatic and painful transformation and I must embrace the epic challenge and not complain about or make it an excuse.
  5. Lose the 18 pounds I put back on in 2015 from missing work outs, taking off my Fitbit and not recording my calories on “Lose It” daily. It all snuck up on me slowly during 15!
  6. Be a better partner to all ventures including business, civic, and spiritual in a way that brings real value to any organization.
  7. Be a better friend by reducing my personal judgement of others coupled with increasing my ability to forgive, so my world around me feels more connected and the painful pinging in my heart subsides and fills with joy and acceptance.
  8. Turning 50, I want to complete a small bucket list that includes completing my first full marathon, earn my boat captain license, complete another book with my team, and help the Thomas Merton writings become an important film for the next generation of leaders.
  9. Move on finally emotionally from both parents passing away several years back. I have finally dealt with many open issues – way too late – with help from close friends (selling the house, giving away prized possessions).
  10. Find out what happened by locating my birth parents for closure and peace of mind.

In the end, I think getting ready to turn 50 is something you never saw as fathomable when you are young, so it is putting good pressure on me because I know my time is shorter, there is still too much to do, and without improving myself none of it will happen!
When I reflect back, I still feel the pain and suffering that you never thought you could endure or overcome still part of my own soul, l but will never come near to the joy or happiness I have felt along the way.
This year is the year of positive thinking and deep commitment to personal change, because now at my age I can easily become a creature of habit. I just want to get that childhood passion back that I had decades ago to get better, self-regulate actions with good discipline, even if no one else even cares, and be a better version of myself that God knew was possible all along!
Help me be accountable as we move forward together and feel free to share your 2016 personal resolutions because this could finally be our year!!

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