Tag Archives: resolutions

Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions image

I admit I felt pressure to make this first post of the year profound, deep and inspirational. Isn’t that what we savvy women do? Set the bar high, then lose sleep trying to get there and finally, beating ourselves up for not meeting our own high standards. At least that’s what I do. But this morning I found some inspiration of my own in the morning paper. Yep, leave it to the New York Times to be there for me just when I need a little jump-start.

Help came in the form of an opinion piece by David DeSteno, professor of psychology at Northwestern University. His column was titled “The Only Way To Keep Your Resolutions.” The gist of it is that standard resolutions are hard to keep because they require so much mental energy that we eventually burn out. But what is sustainable are efforts that are born from gratitude, pride and compassion. DeSteno calls these traits, “social emotions.” These are the qualities that make us human and help us form positive relationships. It is these relationships, and the feelings that come with them that help us to feel grateful, which in turn leads us to step outside ourselves and learn new skills, try new experiences and ultimately, to have real, sustainable personal growth.

I love this theory! For me, feeling connected to others and to something bigger than myself is what I thrive on and what I seek out. I enjoy being in community with people. I am most myself when I am with others, connecting and sharing thoughts, feelings, time and emotions. In short, I am in my element. And I can report that for me, these experiences do indeed make me feel grateful and happy to help when called upon. These past couple of years, I have been called to serve in a leadership role in my faith community. It’s been a challenge and has stretched me in ways I never imagined. But if I had made resolutions on some arbitrary date on the calendar to learn the very same things, I probably wouldn’t have had the same level of success in learning and making changes.

The work I’ve done has also helped me to feel pride in myself. Pride at learning new things and accomplishing goals I’d set. And again, that feeling of satisfaction has led me to want to share my lessons with others. I have helped to mentor the next leaders of my community and look forward to continuing to offer advice and counsel when called upon.

Finally, these last couple of years has taught me humility and forgiveness. By that I mean forgiveness to myself when I fail, and humility for being human. I like to think I’ve always been a compassionate person, but in retrospect, I’ve learned that real compassion comes when we can recognize our own shortcomings, forgive ourselves and then share awareness that with others. When someone in my world falls short or disappoints me, I am better at empathizing and understanding that we are all just trying to do our best in spite of our human flaws.

So if I have anything to share about New Year’s resolutions it’s this: cultivate gratitude for what you have, feel real pride in your accomplishments big and small, and find compassion for the broken parts in all of us and in our world. And this time next year, look back on the changes that have occurred. You will be amazed. Happy New Year everyone!

About Barbara Dab

Barbara Dab is a small business owner, journalist, broadcast radio personality, producer and award-winning public relations consultant.  She is the proud owner of Nashville Pilates Company, a boutique Pilates studio in Nashville’s Wedgewood/Houston neighborhood.  Check it out at  www.nashvillepilatescompany.com.  She is also the creator of The Peretz Project: Stories from the Shoah: Next Generation.  The Peretz Project, named for her late father-in-law who was a Holocaust survivor, is collecting testimony from children of survivors.  Visit http://www.theperetzproject.com.  If you are, or someone you know is, the child of survivors of the Shoah, The Holocaust, and you would like to tell your story please leave a comment and Barbara will contact you.

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Have a HerSavvy New Year!

Happy New Year

I am the lucky HerSavvy gal who gets the first post of 2015!  I have written before that I am not a fan of “resolutions.”  Resolutions, to me, feel absolute, black and white.  Resolutions are either kept or broken.  If you keep one, you are successful.  If you break one, you fail.  Since I already carry my fair share of “Jewish guilt,” I see no need to pile more on right from the beginning of the year.

I do, however, believe in setting goals.  And while many people see the beginning of the year as a “blank slate,” I approach it as an opportunity to choose what issues or projects to carry with me into the future, and what to leave behind.  So, without further ado, here are my goals for 2015:

  1. Exercise good self-care. That means continue my quest for lifelong good health, fitness, energy and vitality.
  2. Focus my mental and intellectual energy where it is most meaningful. Change is difficult, but often necessary in order to pursue a purposeful and fulfilling life.
  3. Read more. I set this goal every year.  For me reading is a glorious pastime that engages my senses and refreshes my soul.
  4. Listen better. I believe listening is one of the most critical elements in good relationships.  Good listening builds bridges of understanding and trust.
  5. Practice patience. My mother used to say, “All good things come to those who wait.”  I did not understand what she meant for a very long time.  I thought you had to just sit and wait for things to happen.  I now know she was trying to teach me to be willing to work hard and not expect immediate results.  Important goals and dreams take time to realize.  Mom, I get it!

In the coming year, I wish all of you good health, love, patience and the courage to set goals and reach for your dreams.

About Barbara Dab:

Barbara Dab is a journalist, broadcast radio personality, producer and award-winning public relations consultant. She currently hosts two radio shows locally in Nashville, TN. Check out her website athttp://www.zoneabouttown.com.

Barbara is also creator of The Peretz Project: Stories from the Shoah: Next Generation. Check it out at http://www.theperetzproject.com If you, or someone you know, is the child of survivors of the Shoah, The Holocaust, and would like to tell your story please leave a comment and Barbara will contact you.

Like what you’ve read? Feel free to share, but please… Give HerSavvy credit. Thanks!

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Filed under Self Savvy