In one of our most popular contests yet, we asked you to tell us how your New Year’s resolutions are going. We all make these attempts at self-improvement, but often we lose the will to follow through with them. Judging from the response to this contest, however, we have hope that many of you are finding ways to achieve your goals.
Here are a few of the best submissions. We hope you enjoy them.
Kira L. writes about choosing specific but simple goals she knew she could stick with:
"It may sound simple enough, but so many times I’ve lost touch with my resolutions because they were either too vague or too overwhelming. ‘Be a better friend’ or ‘Spend more time with my family’ sounds great, but is it measurable? And resolutions like ‘Get Healthier’ are just too overwhelming. Sure, you can start eating better and working out more often, but when results don’t instantly appear, it can be incredibly discouraging.
"By forcing myself to evaluate the goals that I create, I also force myself to work out a mini game plan. Instead of ‘Spend more time with my family’ I might make one mini-goal to have dinner with my parents at least once a month. Or instead of ‘Get Healthier’ I might make a mini-goal to not get take out food for 2 whole weeks. That makes my goals not only more measurable but also more achievable."
We received many great stories from other contestants. Here are a few of the best:
Although this man found his resolve a few years ago, it’s never too late to learn that your kids watch everything you do. "I used to smoke. One day, I saw my two youngest boys playing. To my surprise, they where imitating how I acted when I smoked. They were pacing in a circle, and of them stopped and pushed the other and said, "No, I am Daddy." Then he took a Crayon in his hand and pretended to take a drag off of it. My other son did the same. I was shocked. From that day forward, I have never touched a tobacco product again."
Children imitate healthy choices, too, sometimes inspiring us to be even healthier. "I just want to make some of the small changes in my life that I realize are better for me. I have three young children and want to be as healthy as I can to enjoy their time growing up. We have always encouraged them to be active and eat healthy, but it seems to finally be sinking in with them as they see me doing it, too. The kids are more active and fit than ever. Seeing my healthy activities impact my children inspires me to keep making personal choices that are right for my health."
A common, but important, goal is trying to respect your body. "I try not to put things into it that are unhealthy, artificial, and bad for it. I try to eat as much as I can of such foods as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and fish. When I shop, I stick to the edges of the grocery store, where most fresh foods are displayed, and stay away from the middle aisles and the processed foods."
Often, we can take the people around us for granted. Working at our relationships, however, can be rewarding. "I take time to listen a lot more than I have in the past. I shake hands with my students, spend time in their classes, and laugh and joke with them. I take time to recognize the hard work that my teachers do and honor their efforts daily. I have learned that the connections you make with staff and students will help build professional relationships, as well."
Thanks to all who entered, and congratulations to the winner! Good luck to all in our next contest.