On behalf of all of us at The Joseph Group, Happy New Year! We trust you had wonderful holidays and are looking forward to this new year and the opportunities, joys and challenges it surely will bring.
Like many of us, I’ve been thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. The research is clear that very few of us stick with those resolutions more than a few weeks. What does that mean? My own take is that the underlying motivation for most resolutions is simply not strong enough. We desire a certain outcome but not enough to stay committed to the change in behavior it requires.
Perhaps we should look at resolutions in a different way. Instead of a specific goal related to certain activities, what if our resolutions were more related to becoming a loving person to those closest to us? Do we need to be more patient with our spouse? Do we need to spend more time with a member of our family? Do we need to work on kindness, compassion, timeliness? These relate to how we love those around us and the chances of maintaining our effort in these areas beyond a month or so are much higher because they are motivated by love and love is the fundamental motivation of human life.
Here are some hints to keeping a New Year’s resolution to love others better:
- Set aside some time each morning to reflect on the kind of person you want to be for those you love. More compassionate, more kind, a better listener, etc. In those minutes picture yourself with each of those people, living out those traits with each of them.
- If you’re a person of prayer, include the above in your daily prayer time – God wants you to become more loving so tell Him that and ask Him to help you!
- At the end of each day spend a few minutes looking back through the day to carefully assess all of your activities and encounters with those around you. How well did you love? For a good listing of the traits of love, go to 1st Corinthians, Chapter 13 in the bible – there you will find a wonderful listing of traits that define love. Use those traits as your nightly examen to see how well you loved that day.
- And finally, share with one person close to you your desire to be more loving and ask them to check in with you regularly so that you can report how you’re doing in loving those closest to you.
What if all of us reading this were to take on a 2023 resolution of loving others more deeply. Consider the impact and I think you’ll feel that there is no better New Year’s resolution.
Living a great life starts with giving ourselves to others in love. What a powerful motivator that could be for all of us as we step into this new year!
Written by Matt Palmer, Partner & Co-founder