Do you really need a New Year’s Resolution?

I guess with the coming of the New Year it is understandable that folks are asking, “What New Year’s Resolutions are you making for 2019?”

I’ve already had several friends ask me what plans I have for the year and unfortunately I have to say, “None.”

It’s not that I don’t have any goals or ambitions for my life and I certainly don’t think that there is no room for improvement, but over many years I have learned to rely on a slightly different philosophy about life in general that has helped me weather many storms.

Now this idea is certainly not a new one and I’m sure it had been around many years before I first heard it while commiserating with some of my fellow platoon members in 1966.

The basic adage is to “Live one day at a time and do the best you can.”

The way it was explained to me is that life, whether in terms of successes, failures or even survival, is determined to a great degree by your mental/emotional state.

Now the expansion of that premise is based on the idea that you are wasting your time if you worry about yesterday because it is over and there is nothing you can do to change it.

You are also wasting your time if you worry about tomorrow because there is no guarantee you will ever see it.

In short, worry is a waste of time.

So if you live all the present aspects of your life (today) to the best of your ability you are laying a good foundation for any future you may have and maybe even giving yourself a better chance of seeing that future.

I know there are going to be naysayers who will attribute such thinking to people who are fatalists.

I know I am not an eloquent wordsmith, so if that’s what you get out of this, please don’t read any further because you’re just not in tune with my thinking.

I’m not saying you should never make plans because you might not be here tomorrow.

I am saying it’s probably not a good idea to let arbitrary resolutions/plans dictate your future happiness if you’re going to be crushed when they don’t work out the way you wanted.

I’ve had a saying that I’ve passed along to all my kids and I hope they will, in turn, pass it on to theirs, “If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.”

It’s really just a reminder that many plans we have don’t always work out so don’t let outside influences dictate your inner feelings.

As a person that has made more than my share of mistakes throughout my life, I take full responsibility for many of the trials that have hampered and altered “my plans.”

Each time I find my way back to the realization that it was my focus on doing things my way that created the mistake in the first place.

The other side of the coin is there are so many things that can effect our lives over which we have no control, why would we want to hang any future happiness or success on what many may term as luck, karma or destiny?

Now this is where I must give a little more background for my opinion in this subject.

There have been several times in my life that if I was relying on luck or karma the fact that I am still alive here on earth would indicate that I am probably the luckiest man on earth and should run out and buy a lottery ticket.

Some of these experiences were not within my control and some were due to my total stupidity, but according to the odds there is no earthly reason for me to still be here.

And yes, I readily admit that my abiding faith has much to do with the way I look at life and how I approach my daily activities.

So when I say one of my goals is to be a better father or husband, I don’t sit down and write out a plan to achieve that goal because I know circumstances are going to change and new challenges arise.

I simply look for new opportunities to do something more or better for my wife and family each day in an attempt to get better.

If I want to lose weight (which I do) and eat healthier, I try to eat a little less and cut out some junk food each day because I know I will never stay on some strict regimen.

Sometimes success for me is just looking for one more opportunity to help someone in the community or complete one of those long overdue projects I have postponed for so long.

Granted, my best for any given day is going to be different based on health and other conditions. My best is not always going to be the same, but I will never stop trying to do all I can.

For me there is no better success in life than laying my head down each night knowing that I have done all I can to be a better person that day.

Happy New Year!