Pen and paper with new year's resolutions
About the Author

Michelle Aikman is a military spouse and career management expert.

Forget throw-away resolutions! Pick a New Year’s Resolution that will stick with you long after the ball has dropped. Pick a resolution you can remain committed to at any time and in any place. Pick a resolution that is a gift to yourself …

This year, commit to be brave.

Every day, we are faced with the opportunity to let fear control us. Every day, we are faced with the opportunity to rise up to unpleasant situations and do something about them. Every day, we are faced with the opportunity to endure or give up.

The important part to note is these all are opportunities. We might not have control over the opportunities, but we definitely have control over our choices, and they are the true indicators of our commitment. This year, before acting as usual, choose to take pause when you encounter an unpleasant situation and make a conscious decision to choose a response that requires a little more bravery than usual.

Sticking To It

Many times, people lose momentum with their resolutions because their resolve has waned. We have all done it… “My New Year’s resolution was to eat healthy and exercise every day. I went to three birthday parties and ate cake at all of them. I was sick for a week and now I don’t want to even want to go for a walk. So much for good intentions!” Feelings of failure often set in, so the easiest way to escape those feelings is to ignore them and this means leaving the resolution behind. 

Resolving to be brave is very forgiving. Because we are faced with numerous opportunities to be brave,  we have many chances to step up to those challenges. Even if you miss an opportunity here or there, you easily can stay on track because another opportunity will present itself quickly. 

Plus, bravery is not black or white. There are incremental levels of bravery, so your commitment does not require you to act like Braveheart at all times. Identifying opportunities to be brave is half the battle, so the first step can be recognizing times to pause and give yourself the “decision discussion.” The next phase could be choosing to take one small brave step. Once you have practiced and primed yourself, then you are ready to start boldly being brave. 

Life Changing

This transformation could take days or it could take years. What is truly important is that you praise and celebrate your successes, no matter how small. Allow yourself the flexibility to tackle what is reasonable for you in that moment. Forgive yourself when you aren’t able to follow through with your commitment and try to continue to embrace it thereafter.

You know you have a good resolution when it changes your thinking and behavior on an ongoing basis. When you have a flexible resolution, you can be successful even if you stumble around a bit. 

Envision yourself as the brave person you wish you could be … this resolution is one that gives back to you, our world, and future generations.

 
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