The ability to look beyond today is the most courageous thing an individual can do. It is the future. As a teenager, future planning was easy. I dreamed something, planned it, and did it. The older I become the more complex that practice became. I had others to consider. I could not just walk away or give up when something did not go my way or I lost interest. I had to have a concrete plan as well as alternatives because I had responsibilities. Yet, the ability to dream never changed and planning sometimes had to be extended. I have learned that courage is taking responsibility and still daring to make dreams reality. So, I challenge you to never stop dreaming and making your dreams come true.
Almost two decades ago, my father encouraged me to change my view of New Year’s resolutions.
He said that typically people set New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of the year. By the middle of the year, the resolutions were broken, forgotten, or changed; because, they did not have true value or significance to the person. They were done out of tradition or simply something to do. Thus, he challenged me to change my thinking. Dad asked me “What makes a New Year?” “Was it a change of the calendar year?” Was it a change of an event? Or was it an anniversary of something?” He said when it is an important event to me, it will be more meaningful. He said my New Year should be important. It should be my birthday. It signifies a New Year for me. I thought about that and that made sense. Thus from that birthday to now, I have set resolutions (goals) every year on my birthday.
October means a great deal to me.
It is my birthday month as well as victory month. At seventeen, I discovered a lump in my breast. Thus, I had it checked every year. Three years ago, a new one was founded that had active growth and blood flow. As a granddaughter and niece of individuals who lost the fight to breast cancer, I was concerned. Not wanting to take any risk, I had the lump removed and then tested. It was cancer free. Therefore, my goal every year is to improve one area of my health by adding a healthy habit. I added taking vitamins last year and reducing my sodas. This year, I added exercising at least three times a week.
Another reason October is important to me is bully prevention. As a child, I was bullied (teased) due to my size. I was the “fat” girl in elementary school. I hated third and fourth grade. Sometimes when I visit schools now that have the “school cafeteria food” smell, I can feel those stomach aches of those years. Thus as an educator, I promised to actively fight for bully prevention. October is bully prevention month with October 9 as “orange day.” In addition, I am in the progress of completing my dissertation on bully prevention. Therefore, I set a goal to publish articles and research on bully prevention even after I have completed by dissertation.
As my birthday month, I set personal and family goals. For example, I wanted to have more “Mommy, child days.” This is when I spend individual time with each child. The child picks what we do and where we go. Regardless of the age of my children, this is still a special thing.
So, my challenge to you is to change your New Year’s Resolution to a special time or event so it becomes special to you.