Re-Ordering Your Life in the Coming New Year

The year 2021 has likely been the most anticipated year in recent history—so many things we did in 2020 were new for us and found us being very creative in how life operated. The Brazos Valley has led the way in innovative solutions and giving attitudes in caring and sharing with others. We appreciate our front line health care and safety professionals who have gone above and beyond in taking care of us throughout this year.

Many days, we adapted and changed procedures as needed, but through everything, your abilities to adapt to new ways of doing things was a bright, shining light to others. Just like every year at this time, we scan the final days of our calendar pages and contemplate the things we want to do differently in the year ahead. What’s on your mind for resolutions for 2021?

Frequently, a new year inspires gym memberships and new eating habits. Piles of clutter in our office become to-do projects for clearing out. There’s a feeling of satisfaction that comes with seeing a perfectly organized desk. It may only last a short time, but you can see the results of all your efforts. That garage you were going to clean? The new year is a perfect time to get after it!

In our lives this past year, we’ve made some major changes to staying connected with family and friends via our electronic devices. We’ve been uplifted by Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, phone calls, and text messages with those close to us. Zoom and Microsoft Team Viewer have made safe conference meetings possible so business and distance classroom learning stayed viable this year.

As we look ahead in 2021, we’ll eventually be able to travel to see loved ones. Yet we will remember how our spirits of determination and patience helped when we couldn’t. Chelsea and I are making our list of resolutions right now.

Curious about when the very first New Year’s resolution was made, I checked and found that “the ancient Babylonians are said to have been the first people to make New Year’s resolutions, some 4,000 years ago.” It was surprising but uplifting to read how long everyone has been trying to make things different and better in their lives. New Year’s Eve is our day to celebrate but the Babylonians celebrated in mid-March, coinciding with the planting of their crops and their reaffirming their loyalty to their king.

Children are great about adopting the concept of resolutions each year, and they are often the first to admit there’s something they do wrong that they won’t do again. A few of these, thanks to writer Kate Wight, include:

  1. I promise I won’t give myself unsanctioned haircuts.
  2. I’ll color on paper, not the walls.
  3. I’ll try to eat the occasional vegetable.

These three especially show children understand the error in their old ways and choose a specific path to not repeat those mistakes. They didn’t build in much wiggle room in these. NO haircuts, NO coloring on walls, and “trying” to eat vegetables is acknowledgment that he or she has been a problem child every meal.

Adults leave themselves a little more room for failure, and that’s something that is a path they know. A recent study in Forbes noted a majority of people who make resolutions fully intend to keep them to the tune of 55.31% (in a sample size of 141,000,000 adults). Even in 2020 people remained optimistic about keeping resolutions—a very encouraging statistic. Frequently the resolutions include joining a gym, getting more exercise, and improving your diet. From all the neighbors we’ve seen walking in the neighborhoods, people are determined to keep the endorphins flowing for those good, happy feelings that come from exercising regularly.

How do you make your resolutions? Are they built to last at least 365 days until the next round of resolutions? Chelsea and I always find a few that we are certain not to break, so we start with those. Then we add in a few we are pretty sure we can manage to keep, and then we have the last ones reserved for those that depend on extreme determination and mutual agreement of their importance.

Want some ideas for starting small? Resolve to put all your computer passwords together in a safe place. This is a useful one for all of us. We have at least 50-300 passwords on all the computer applications and various phone apps we use. You know how frustrating it is when you say “Oh, surely I can remember that one, it goes…” and then blank. A central notebook for you and your spouse will serve you well over and over.

How’s your Christmas card list? Did you update all the new addresses on cards you received this year? Take a few minutes and get ready for Christmas 2021 with this easy step, and it counts for a resolution.

Reorganizing some cabinets? There’s always a use for Tupperware containers without their lids. You know you have them. Take them to the garage and store items of like kinds on top of your workbench and you’ll find satisfaction in what is now known as “repurposing.” All the small steps add up and you can check these off your list quickly.

How are you on supplies for things you always use? On this last day of the year, get your last deductible purchases made or ordered for your work if you own your own business. Resolve to have a full set of light bulbs ready to replace any that burn out. Same goes for batteries. This is the perfect day to stock up on extras and be ready for the next 12 months. Make organization your resolution and you’re guaranteed to keep it and feel successful about doing things you know you should do anyway.

Other resolutions revolve around the people in our lives. This past year, did we take enough photos of those we loved? Did we start scrapbooks on our children and grandchildren to keep in the family forever? Did we send anniversary, birthday, and cards of encouragement to everyone we intended to reach out to? If there’s anyone you missed, make them first for 2021 greetings.

If you were late mailing Christmas cards, send out Happy New Year cards and be a welcome part of your friends’ mailboxes when all the bills start filling up their boxes. One of our friends sends our Valentine’s Day greetings each year, with a cheery holiday newsletter, and it’s a perfect time for them to catch us up with what all they’ve been doing. We like receiving ours each year then.

Exercise is a part of our regular routine, so it’s not on our list of resolutions to make. However, if you are vowing to make exercise a part of your 2021 list, remember to have realistic expectations. Don’t say, “I’m going to lost 50 lbs in 2 weeks.” Instead, say, “I am going to enjoy working out for time I’m dedicating to myself each day.” That is you taking time for you, and an important resolution to keep.

Another resolution that may not jump to mind is one where a single act of kindness can make a difference. Reaching out to friends we don’t see in person often, even if a phone call, e-mail, or text to say “Hello” is a prized, cherished act. On Facebook, you will find people in need of encouragement, whether they just lost a beloved pet, someone they care about has lost a job, or someone is having a really bad day. Just a few minutes to see if you can be of help is a great promise to make to yourself. In doing for others, we always enjoy the feeling we get when someone says, “You just made my day, thank you!” Maybe it’s implied rather than spoken in words, but no good deed is wasted.

No matter what your resolutions are this year, make sure they are promises to yourself that you want to keep. You don’t have to please others, just yourself, in these resolutions. Next, you are the most important person in the lives of others. How you work to make yourself healthy and stay that way is a gift to yourself, and to others. Reaching out to help others will only bring good results. No matter your record in keeping resolutions each year, join us in prolonging the traditions and jot a few down for yourself. Share them here if you’d like. Happy 2021 to all of you!

Chelsea and Cody Jones, Owners & Community Members

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