Four categories of people. Which one are you?
There are four kinds of people when it comes to this. The first kind sets standards so high and has a list of changes a mile long. Inevitably disappointment soon knocks at their door. The second type says: if I only read a book this year, it’s a step! If that doesn’t work, reading the score at a football game will do… Their standards are too low so that no one will be let down. And there’s another kind. It’s said that ‘When you shoot at nothing, you will hit it every time.’ That’s the third category – people with no plan to change a thing whatsoever. And those are probably the ones who could use a change the most.
While listening to a great speaker this week, it dawned on me that we need to read that word slightly differently. It should sound more like this: ‘re:solution’. Then it makes more sense. Whatever problem we have, we really try to find a solution. I know it’s passed New Years. So, why am I still talking about this?
Re:solutions are good. (Don’t mind my spelling, it’s on purpose 🙂 ) They inspire us to come up with a solution to a part of us that ain’t so pretty. So, our list might include things like: re:start a long-overdue diet, re:connect with old buddies, re:think your career opportunities, re:charge your strength weekly, re:prioritize responsibilities, re:new some vows and promises… it’s all about a ‘new me’.
Before I go on to share about the fourth category of people, I just want to say that no matter how much we try to impose a certain change of habits on ourselves, if it’s not a change of attitude, the New Year’s Resolution will pretty much limit itself to a January project only. It all comes down to the heart and mind, and then it will be a lifestyle, not a chore. And then you will eat your five servings of veggies a day because you’ve slowly grown to love rucola and broccoli, and not just force it down because of an article with the title ‘Two Veggies You Must Eat Today’, an article (or a nagging spouse) that made you feel guilty.
As much as we focus on creating a ‘better version of me’, there is a fourth category of people that take their eyes off of themselves and place their attention on OTHERS. How about, start with loving your neighbor. Your closest neighbor might be… just off the top of my head… let’s say, your FAMILY. This fourth type of person is on the verge of extinction, like polar bears (cause dodo birds are long gone).
So, here is my challenge and the re:solution I hope you will truly take to heart this year: Focus on loving OTHERS, while at the same time working on becoming more disciplined in your lifestyle.
Practical suggestions for this week
- Start a date night with your spouse. Make it regular and fun. Find childcare if you have little ones. Even if you start small, do it this week. Don’t put it off. Go to the coffee shop around the corner for a midnight decaf cappuccino and a french croissant, go to a ballet concert (not at midnight though), or just a stroll around the block.
- Fathers, take your daughters on a date. For some, this may be a very strange idea, but I have so many friends in the States that already do this with their girls. They teach them ahead what a date should look like, how a girl should be treated. This way you will help them raise their expectations and not just put up with any Joe. It’s a great way to make your daughters feel loved and respected. Go on that teaching date and have a blast with your child. Mothers, do the same with your sons. Go out, and teach them how to treat a lady, you being the guinea pig for now.
- Remember those love notes you used to get, back in the day when your spouse was courting you? Keep them up. Unmarried couples, remember that whatever you do when you court, you have to build up from that, and not diminish anything.
- Ask your spouse and your children if there is anything you can help them with this week. Mean it. Listen carefully. Then do it. And do it well.
- Make somebody smile. You have no idea who is at the receiving end. You might be the only smile somebody sees that day.
- Be spontaneous! We live in a world when we have memos and reminders for just about everything. Sometimes we plan things to death. Try and surprise your family with a pyjama, movie & popcorn Saturday, Wednesday evening symphony, or just Monday family dinner. For example, Mirela and Robert, an amazing couple from Bucharest, just went for a romantic four o’clock meal (Is it lunch? Is it dinner? Shall we call it linner? :)) a little over an hour away from Bucharest to Doftana Valley, Romania. Here is what Mirela had to say about their experience:
“We’ve been to that area many times in the fall and summer for picnics. But then, we decided to go in December to this unconventional, but amazing restaurant at this Modern Family Retreat in Doftana Valley. As you are seated to your table, the lake in front of you, makes you feel you’re on top of it. The service was excellent, the food was exquisite, the price was great. They showed us a room, as well, it was really lovely, the view was worth all the money. It is also equipped with fitness and sauna. In the warmer seasons, the host offers biking, kayaking, boat riding and much more. This quaint place is great for children as well. They have so much room to run around and enjoy nature with their family. We’ve been to many places, but nothing compares to this experience. It’s a great place to run away from the craziness of the city.”
- Have a weekend getaway. Explore the country you live in, if you can’t travel abroad. I’m sure you have not exhausted all your options. Do something unique, quaint, something your kids will remember you by. Try the Tree House experience, or the only Ice Beds in Eastern Europe and much more. And then tell us how jaw-dropping it was.
- Get a good camera and take quality pictures. If you invest in anything, invest in saving those memories for you and your children.
So, my friend, in which category do you find yourself? Maybe you need to try a new way of doing things. Keep up with your realistic list of resolutions. Review them regularly. But, don’t just focus on changing YOU, make a difference for OTHERS.
My challenge for you is: Focus on loving OTHERS while at the same time working on becoming more disciplined in your lifestyle.
Live, love, laugh and travel some more.