Her Views

my best resolution

It’s here. The end of a year (and a decade) and the start of a new one. The time we make new year’s resolutions, or at least talk about them. FYI, I’m doing both.

We all know resolutions are notoriously hard to keep. So it’s helpful when others can help us think about them differently. My friend Jen suggests picturing what you want your life to look like in 2011. “Quit thinking in terms of vows, and begin thinking in terms of vignettes,” says she. I like that approach.

Author Tim Sanders suggests making 3 lists for 2011. Stop, start, and keep. It’s simple.

I made one resolution about 4 years ago, and I’ve been making the same one every year since and it has changed my life. It’s my best resolution.

I resolved to say “Yes” more often.

Sometimes it’s easy. You want to pay for my dinner? – Yes. Other times, it’s harder. You want me to speak to a group of college kids? – (gulp) Yes.

I probably need to clarify that this is not an excuse for all the codependent Millie Martyr’s of the world to continue taking on other people’s responsibilities, or not to enforce healthy boundaries, or to otherwise be a doormat. This is saying “yes” at times when you would ordinarily just go home. Or saying “yes” to things that are completely outside your comfort zone, or that you have little interest in, or don’t know anything about.

I warn you… it’s radical. I actually live a fairly routine life. But I’ve been to Africa and Thailand because I said yes. I’ve seen things I never would have seen, I’ve taught classes, interviewed mayors, spoken at church, served on a university presidential search committee, made unexpected connections, hosted live-streaming interviews, earned unexpected money, and met the most interesting people – all because at some point further back I said “yes” to an insignificant-at-the-time opportunity.

You should try it in 2011. You only have to say one word.