In making a New Year’s resolution ‘just do one small, simple thing’

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  • Looking ahead: Remember no matter your circumstances this year (or any other year), you are in control of what you choose to do with your life. So, instead of an ambitious resolution programme, just do one simple small thing, Martha writes.

    Looking ahead: Remember no matter your circumstances this year (or any other year), you are in control of what you choose to do with your life. So, instead of an ambitious resolution programme, just do one simple small thing, Martha writes.


Out with the Old and In with the New! This is the twelfth year of the New Year’s Day Resolution article.

It is a timely topic but a challenge to make the trite relevant in these difficult times.

This Old year looks back at times of many positive (and negative) changes.

Bermuda has new political leadership governing our country. We’ve lost the long-standing highly respected editor of our daily local newspaper.

The country is more than four years into an economic recession. Many families are struggling to survive financially.

Until prosperity returns to all residents of our wonderful island, hope and optimism are only a jump start to the New Year.

“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a New Year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes …

“Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.” ~G.K. Chesterton.

Generally, New Year’s resolutions emphasise actions to correct all of the personal attributes that we aren’t happy with. Then, we set ourselves up with a time limit and motivational regimen to finally achieve those positive enhancements to our lives.

These are not easy goals for anyone to accomplish. Statistically, the follow through on New Year’s resolutions is abysmal.

The surge in gym memberships post January 1 each year is commonplace, as is attendance at weight loss clinics, purchases of diet plans, social management courses and the like. For a while we do sincerely commit, but as employment, family, social, financial, and other relationships intervene, we find we have created additional stress in our lives. Result, because we are only human, we tend to become frustrated, slack off and eventually, drop out.

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instil in us.” ~Hal Borland.

Yet, we continue each year to promote and buy into what may seem to be another unachievable year-end goal. Why? Because a New Year’s resolution is not just a goal; it is an emotional expression of our determination to strive to be the best that we can be.

The year just past may have ended fairly well, or been particularly disastrous for us, but we are certain that we can still be optimistic, still have hope that the New Year can change our fortunes. Hope does spring eternal and the adage: try, try again does work.

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” ~Oprah Winfrey.

This year, keep stress down. Keep it simple. Consider doing just one thing. Many Bermuda residents are coping these days with extraordinary stress-filled lives: uncertain employment, limited cash reserves, healthcare management, education challenges, keeping a home intact. Making a New Year Years resolution is just not in the cards.

Remember this. No matter your circumstances this year (or any other year), you are in control of what you choose to do with your life. So, instead of an ambitious resolution programme, just do one simple small thing.

1. Put problems in right perspective. “You” are not a problem. There is a problem in your life.

2. Finances in disarray. Track ATM withdrawals by stapling the slip in a plain notebook and listing what you spent. See you have already taken a major step to managing a budget;

3. Overindulgent festivities. Cut out one bad food from your daily diet plan, by making just one better choice;

4. Clear your mind. See the world through a child’s eyes. Spend a few minutes a day reading to your child;

5. Depressed and lethargic. Walk for half an hour instead of sitting at a computer or TV

6. Clutter overwhelming. Clean out one drawer/closet/cupboard. When you feel up to it, do another,

7. Double your evening meal recipe, and give half to a neighbour; or call a friend, then listen, really listen to them;

8. Take five minutes to pray; sometimes, it really helps.

9. Stay motivated. Never stop trying to help yourself and your family reach your goals. Small changes lead to big changes

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce.

May this year be better than last; may your worries diminish; may your joys increase; may your financial situation improve; may you remain healthy; may you find fulfillment in the life you have been given.

n Reference sources: DO ONE THING DIFFERENT And Other Uncommonly Sensible Solutions to Life’s Persistent Problems, by Bill O’Hanlon.

Martha Harris Myron CPA PFS CFP (USA) TEP is a cross border financial planning specialist at Patterson Partners Ltd providing integrated cross-border tax, estate, investment advisory and related strategic planning services for Bermuda residents, US citizens, and international executives with multi-jurisdictional /US connections. For additional information, please contact mmyron@patterson-partners.com or call 296 3528 http://www.patterson-partners.com.

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Published Dec 29, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 28, 2012 at 5:42 pm)

In making a New Year’s resolution ‘just do one small, simple thing’

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