“I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody.”– Herbert B. Swope
While I love to make lists and check them off, I realize it is useless to make a list of
changes you want to make on the outside until the inside you is in shape. Instead of
focusing on the usual exterior resolutions such as, Start an exercise program, Organize
my office, Lose 10 pounds, I have opted to substitute my ‘Big 5’ change your life
suggestions that came to me at 4 a.m. when my brain refused to sleep. Even after
reviewing them in the harsh light of day, they made sense to me and I hope they do to
1. Let go of hurts as quickly as you can.
Little ones take hours or days, big ones might take years. Releasing the hurt,
resentment, and anger you have over an incident or about a person will in turn release
you to grow. I have learned to accept sometimes there is no closure or perfect solution
to what is bugging me so the best alternative is letting go.
2. Do something quiet and secret for someone once a week.
It helps get rid of the “Hey look at me!” attitude plaguing our society and will make at
least two people feel better. This is kind of like random acts of kindness done with a
purpose and a mask.
3. Stop being a Drama Queen (or King!)
It looks cute on t-shirts and hot pink pillows trimmed in sequins or feathers but doesn’t
play out well in real life. It reminds me of a saying my mother used to tell me
repeatedly, “Don’t make mountains out of mole hills.” (Those who know me well realize I
can be a pro at this and by now, you have either fallen out of your chair or fainted.
Please remember, awareness is the first step toward recovery, so give me a break!)
Exception to the above: It is OK to play the Drama Card if you are doing it with humor
and effect to make a point, just do not make it your personality.
4. You are a collection of all your experiences.
Take charge of your life experiences so you don’t turn out to be a pile of junk. Value
yourself enough to decide what is worthwhile and what is not. Make good connections
with others and be choosy about who you open your soul to.
5. Be of service—anyway, anytime, anywhere.
I have never felt so useful and alive as when I am stepping outside myself to make a
positive difference for someone else. Opportunities for service are everywhere. It does
not have to be in another country or another state; it can be next door, at work, or for a
family member. It will become habit forming and it can change the world.
These five resolution substitutions won’t make you thinner but they will improve the
quality of your life from the inside out. The goal is not to be a beautiful facade; the goal
is to be an authentic whole.
This is a post written by Darla Arni, excerpted from her new book Full Plate No Fork
Author: 30 Ways to Share Creative Energy at Home
Co-Author: Life Compass for Women
Co-Author: 66 Secrets to Less Stress
Darla shows people how creativity and personal responsibility can change the world by positively effecting perceptions, attitudes, and relationships.