One Day At A Time

New Year’s Eve. Time when our thoughts turn to a review of year that has past, and resolutions for the year to come. And for me, it has been quite a year…from the high of my son’s bar mitzvah to the low of being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, I think both friends and family are ready to move forward with something new. I’m not sure, however, that things will change soon. So in an effort to make the most of a trying year, I have turned my attention to resolutions…
Perhaps, though, resolution is not the best word. While I don’t argue that losing weight, quitting smoking, drinking less, or exercising more are bad things, I don’t quite believe in those resolutions we tend to make that carry us to January 15 and then fall by the wayside, only to be picked up again 350 days later. Of course I hope to be better in the coming year…do more for my community, treat my body with greater respect, spend more time with my loved ones, and even write here more often! But I am cynical about calling those resolutions. We eat better for a week or two, then a steak calls our name for dinner, we fall off the weight loss wagon and indulge in chocolate cake for dessert. Having failed, we seem to give ourselves permission to give up altogether. The New Year’s Resolution, as we have come to know it, is a cop out.

Beginning today, I would rather think of it as a New Year’s Commitment. My commitment: I will strive to be the best, most true “me” that I can be. It involves all of the things I’ve already mentioned and more.

However, even that is too big. Call it what you may, a commitment to ourselves for the coming year will only be achievable if we can break it down into action steps. I am reminded of the AA adage: one day at a time. “One Day At A Time” has staying power for one reason — it works. The alcoholic can always have a drink tomorrow…just not today. And as luck would have it, when tomorrow arrives, it’s today.

In honor of this time-tested methodology, this year I am adopting a new strategy for 2012. I plan to greet each new day with a new commitment to myself, and I hope you will join me. Together we can avoid the boredom, and give ourselves permission to change one thing at a time. Each day we can change anew.

Jan 1 2012: I will enjoy every minute I have with my family before returning home on Monday.

What is YOUR 1/1/12 commitment?

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14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. DrAttai
    Jan 01, 2012 @ 19:56:23

    I love the idea of a commitment, rather than a resolution. When the commitment is to yourself, not to a specific behavior (like exercise or diet), I think it’s more likely to stick. And when even one day at a time seems overwhelming, try one hour or even one minute at a time. Happy New Year, Lori and the best of health and happiness to you.

    Reply

    • Lori
      Jan 02, 2012 @ 10:08:04

      One hour, one minute…absolutely! It all keeps us living with focus, and hopefully attainable goals! I also loved your “three words.” Still working on mine…. Others can find them here: Dr Attai. Best wishes to you and yours for love, health and blessings in the year ahead!

      Also wanted to share Phillipa’s original article, that seems to have created quite a spark! It can be found at Feisty Blue Gecko. Thanks, Phillipa, for your inspiration!

      Reply

  2. Marie Ennis-O'Connor (@JBBC)
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 07:47:40

    Lovely post Lori. I just discovered, thanks to a comment by one of my blog readers, that the word resolution is from the Latin resolutio, or resolvere meaning “to loosen or dissolve again,” (re- + solvere) which was the original meaning of resolve. It has helped me shift my perspective on new year’s resolutions as I think about what I want to loosen my tight grip on this year.

    Reply

    • Lori
      Jan 02, 2012 @ 10:02:51

      Thanks for your insightful comment, Marie. You are quite correct…a more fundamental understanding of the word “resolution” does make in more palatable. I wonder if, for me, it is simply tainted by the baggage it carries in the vernacular. Nonetheless, waking up each day to a new commitment to how I will live today grounds me in the present, which I most certainly need with all the garbage that may lay ahead. TODAY is what I have been granted! I enjoyed your New Year’s Post as well: Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer.

      Reply

  3. Nancy's Point
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 08:52:42

    Great post, Lori. I think you and I are definitely in agreement on this one!!

    Reply

  4. Nancy's Point
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 08:53:50

    Just have to add, I love love the photo! It in itself is refreshing and inspiring. Thank you!

    Reply

  5. Maggie
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 12:31:37

    For years I have refused to make the ever-failing resolutions. Why set myself up to feel badly when I fail…yet again?! Lori, I love the idea of a Commitment to Myself…and as Dr. Attai said…one hour, one minute at a time if need be. Thanks for the new perspective, Lori!!!

    Many wishes to you and your family for the New Year. May it bring you much good health and happiness! Love ya, girlie!

    Reply

  6. Jaynie Cohen
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 19:15:04

    Reading your amazing words, the careful attention to the underlying meaning of each particular word makes me love you all over again my friend. You have no idea how much I needed to read what you just wrote. Funny, seems like you never get too old to start fresh. To redeem yourself from your past mistakes and failures. My commitment for 2012 is to give to myself more, to start the journey of what I want to do with my life after toddlers and to be more in the moment (like I was at the Bar Mitzvah party….).

    Love you sweet friend.

    Reply

    • Lori
      Jan 02, 2012 @ 19:29:45

      Oh sweetie…it IS so hard to stay present, isn’t it? But isn’t that what we have friends for? Just remember we can always build our tomorrows in a new light. I love you, and I am so lucky to have you in my life!

      Reply

  7. Tricia
    Jan 03, 2012 @ 11:19:42

    I’m a great believer in moderation being the key to all and have no qualms as a survivor in eating a steak or a delicious cream cake or whatever I fancy as life’s too short to do otherwise, I’ll also continue to enjoy my glass of chilled white when I chose to, however this year it will not be accompanied by his friend Ms Nicotine who left our home over a week ago and I’m glad to say my husband and I feel much better and wish we had had the courage to do this a long time ago:)
    Good wishes to all and their commitments and hope 2012 brings health and peace to all!

    Reply

    • Lori
      Jan 03, 2012 @ 20:47:14

      I agree completely on the moderation in all things front. But most of all CONGRATS on quitting!! Nice that you can do it together…hope you will keep me posted on your progress!

      Reply

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