3 Alternative Commitments for the New Year

My Facebook timeline is awash with meal prep photos, workout goals, and self-addressed pep talks, because this year…ya know…we’re  all gonna kill it and be amazing. 😉

Nothing wrong with those goals or those habits. I’m working on some myself. But I’m also challenging myself to think beyond goals and consider my commitments. I think commitments have a deeper impact on how we orient ourselves to the world and to each other.  So, here are 3 commitments you may consider making for this year:

1. Commit to a cause. 28087609562_f1dec3c492_b

Is there a political issue you are fired up about? Is there a social problem you know is important but haven’t taken the time to understand? Is there an organization doing work you believe in but you haven’t done anything to support that work yet?  Maybe this is the year that you donate consistently, volunteer your time and/or skills, or study the issue in depth. Now, more than ever, we need people who cultivate a robust understanding of the complex problems we face and dedicate themselves to creating a better world. How will you participate?

2. Commit to a community. community-988898_1280

Have you been flaking out on your friends? Have you been neglecting important relationships in your life? Have you been missing meetings for that group you joined? Have you been sending your phone to voicemail when people try to reach you? It’s true that we all need a break from engaging people, and sometimes an extended break really rejuvenates. But maybe this is the time to return to or create commitments to a community–your book club, your religious group, your political organization, or even simply your friends. Show up. Call them back. Send that email. Invite them over. Meet up for coffee. Commit to being there. People need you.

3. Commit to character development. Stones Relaxation Wellness Meditation

Have you worked on yourself lately? Have you spent time examining the person you’ve become? Would you benefit from working through that pent up anger and resentment? Do you need to work on your confidence or tactfulness or generosity or assertiveness or communication skills or honesty or authenticity or conflict management or…? Maybe this is the time to introspect and commit yourself to developing your inner self.

It is so easy to divide our attention and energy, to “keep our options open”, and to underestimate the consequences of not committing to people and things that matter. What will you commit to this year?

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