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A New Year's Definition

By B. Helton
Jan 16, 2009

The rite of making an annual resolution would work much better if we simply chose to replace it by making a "New Year's Definition" instead.

It is excruciatingly difficult to break habits or alter deep seated behavioral scripts. And that is almost exclusively what resolutions target - lose or gain weight (eat less or more); save money (spend less and - or make more); get fit (stop natural laziness and exercise regularly); drink less alcohol; quit smoking; stop stressing, etc. Maybe that is why the failure rate for resolutions is so obscenely high. Resolutions after all typically focus on the hardest-to-change goals – changing our deeply ingrained bad habits. Possibly that is why less than one-half of us even bother with New Year's Resolutions and only twelve percent of those who do so actually achieve their goal. That is about a one out of twenty success ratio at best.

If the choice was a "New Years' Definition" in its place, it would be much easier to realistically pursue and then achieve self-improvement goals. For example, by defining or if you prefer, redefining oneself as a person seeking good health; "to be open and follow our heart"; patience; tranquility; sincerity, etc. we would be targeting a virtue and more specifically an attribute to be consciously cultivated in the New Year. By defining what we wish to become, not a bad habit that needs to be changed, it will be easier to make course corrections along the way with a clear objective in mind. Indeed, we can become devoted to achieving a future state of being without all the emotion and worry connected to an all too frequent failure to lock in life altering changes to a resolution-centered, deep rooted habit.

My principal New Year's Definition is to make the concept and latent potential of definitions and particularly their application more commonplace and real in the lives of each person I touch directly or digitally in '09. On a more personal note I also am defining myself as a content single man. That should be a real habit changer. What other New Year's Definition(s) will you choose? I would love to hear more about this from you!

Wishing you a Joyful New Year,
With respect and honor, always,


B. Helton
Guiding Principal

James Patton Jones
Working Principal

Mrs. Reut Schwartz-Hebron
Contributing Principal

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