Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Everlasting Present

by Julia Buckley

"I don't think of the past. The only thing that matters is the everlasting present." So said the great W. Somerset Maugham, and so we should remember on December 31, a day that fills some people with dread as they contemplate "giving up" things that they don't really want to give up.

The trick is to see the New Year in new ways. For one thing, December 31 is the historical birthday of Henri Matisse, who created the beautiful art borrowed for this blog from here.

It is also the last day to make those big expenditures for 2008 taxes. Want to buy a car? Do it today. :)

Here are the most common resolutions, according to some web research:

--Lose weight
--Manage debt
--Save money
--Get a better job
--Get fit
--Eat right
--Drink less
--Stop smoking
--Reduce stress
--Get a better education
--Volunteer to help others
--Take a trip

Are you making resolutions this year? If so, are any of yours on the list?
Lifecoach Larry Lamott gives advice not about what resolutions to make, but how to keep them. It's an interesting list, the goal of which is to look inward to make the best (and most likely) choices. My favorite is "Be Brave." What a great philosophy for the New Year and all that we want to accomplish! gives advice about how to make a resolution to which you can stick throughout the year. They point out that making resolutions you think others want you to make won't ultimately bring you personal success.

One thing I like to do each year is create my own mantra. Something like Winston Churchill's "Never, never, never quit," but personalized to an individual's situation. This year, because I was trying to exercise more, I would chant my mantra while I walked. That way I was getting exercise, but also feeding positive messages to my brain.

Finally, HealthyMinds gives great advice in pointing out that everyone fails, but that the idea is to get up and keep going. Their number one piece of advice: "Try again." Equally important is "Forgive yourself." (I assume for having to try again).

Yes, I would like to adopt several of the resolutions above, and I think I can be successful if I keep the list small. But when I sneak a piece of chocolate instead of opting for spinach leaves, I'll try again, and forgive the chocolate detour.

May you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve, a successful and enjoyable 2009, and the satisfaction, next December, of resolutions that succeeded past January. :)


G.M. Malliet said...

Thank you for the lovely illustration. What amazing colors!

My resolutions tend to have to do with getting better organized, clearing out my files, cleaning my office, and so on. So I write all that down and then lose the paper. Hah.

I will toast the amazing Inkers tonight and wish them all an amazing and memorable 2009. XOX

Jess Lourey said...

Happy New Year to you all! Thanks for the psychic boost, Julia!

Julia Buckley said...

Sure, Inkers. And thanks for reading on this busy day.

Jess, are you back from your trip?

Keith Raffel said...

Thanks, Dr. Julia. I feel more ready for 2009 than ever. (When I think of the New Year, I'm reminded of Richard Farina's "Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me.)

Julia Buckley said...

I don't know who Richard Farina is, but that's a great title.

Keith Raffel said...

Ah, Julia. I keep forgetting how young you are.

Julia Buckley said...

:) Always nice for a lady to hear.