Like many of you around this time of year I listen as those around me talk about their New Year’s resolutions and wonder whether expressing those hopes and goals to others helps one achieve their lofty expectations. The most common resolutions I hear about are the ones about losing weight, wanting to exercise more, promising to eat healthier or the ultimate resolution about treating every day like it’s your last day. All of these resolutions are certainly well meaning self reflective goals striving to be a better person. January seems to be a good time to bring up these sorts of things since it’s the beginning of a new year and everyone likes to start new and fresh at times so in the spirit of the giving season I’m offering a couple of 2013 New Year’s resolutions of my own that I’ve been thinking about for your evaluation.
In 2013 my first resolution is to slow down and give adequate time to those around me and to get wherever it is I’m going. This is both on a personal level when I interact with others and literally when I am driving around town needing to be somewhere and I think I’m in a hurry. The older I get the more I come to realize that the key to enjoying life and being the most successful in anything you want to do is the ability to slow down. By slowing down you take the time and savor the time it takes to connect with people and maintain “time free” personal relationships. By doing this, my feeling is that I will then have the time to always look at the positive side of any person or situation.
I share this “slowing down” resolution because I believe it is so important in life and something I have tried to work on myself for years and years with varying success. On my job as sheriff, I see so many situations where someone has hurt themselves or hurt someone else because they were too much in a hurry and were not paying attention to detail or taking the proper amount of time that was needed to think about the ramifications of their actions. I can’t tell you how many times an inmate is asked or I have asked, “what were you thinking?” and the answer many times is so hard to explain because they weren’t thinking-they didn’t take the time that is necessary to fully think about the consequences of their actions. So like me, I would like you to consider in 2013 to slow yourself down and pay attention to the details of life and relationships realizing that your actions will affect others as well as yourself. The hope is that by taking the proper amount of time to slow down and self reflect I and you can enjoy life more and be able to see the good in all people and all things.
My second resolution for 2013 is my goal to be more open to new ideas, new points of view and fully consider new alternatives that I may have automatically shut down in the past. At my age and in my position as a law enforcement officer it is pretty well established at this point what I find acceptable and what I consider to be unacceptable. There is good in that, for those who know me well, know that there are certain things that I cannot tolerate and things that I will not accept. I have built my life and career around those ideals. However I also know that things change over time and what was once unheard of is now in some respects common acceptance. I realize that over time things change, and I have to remind myself to keep an open mind in order to properly evaluate those changing ideas.
My feeling is that in order to be successful in life and remain excited about what it is you do with your life and what it is you stand for in your life you need to have the ability to constantly evaluate all kinds of different ideas, listen to the many different points of view and fully consider the alternatives that are presented to you. In 2013 I want to re-focus myself and make sure that I am not limiting my evaluation of new ideas and new points of view for it can get really easy at times to keep the same point of view in a “closed mind” without considering alternatives contrary to your own.
The good news about New Year’s resolutions is that you have 12 brand new months of a brand new year to work on the vows you are making today-kind of like a marriage. Which I know realize that having these resolutions printed in the paper will certainly give my wife one more tool to help me be a better person in 2013!
Happy New Year to you all and may 2013 be a safe, successful and happy year for you and your family.