It's time for me to put my New Year's Resolutions together for 2010, do you have any suggestions for me before I sit down to do this?
I do have some suggestions, five of them to be exact - and I have a little story to share about how I arrived at this conclusion.
This year when we asked our boys what they wanted for Christmas, one of our sons, Mitchell (age 7) surprised us. He insists there is only one thing he wants. When his aunts, uncles, and grandparents ask, he tells them the same thing. Even when he sat on Santa's lap this weekend he shared just one thing that he wants for Christmas. Now you're probably thinking, sure, this one-thing that he wants is probably a new gaming machine, or a personal computer, or maybe an I-Phone. Nope. He is asking for Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards. That's it. Trading cards that cost $3.99 a pack.
When I asked Mitch why he had such a slim list this year, recalling the pages and pages of wishes he had in the past, he said, "If I get these, I'll be happy, no matter what else I get." So to test this I asked, "What if that is all you get since that's all you've asked for?" Seemingly astonished at my apparent ignorance, he said with a mixture of surprise and disappointment, "Ma-om! You know that Santa always brings me lots of presents. Of course he'll surprise me with other things, I just decided that I want to make sure that I get what I want the most, and since it's the smallest thing, he might not know it's that important to me."
I think Mitch is on to something here. If we set our sights on the things that are most important to us, even if they are the easiest to attain (and when you really think about it, usually it is the small stuff that is most important) the rest of our experience is just a bonus. If we are sure to focus on what will bring us the greatest joy, everything else is icing on the cake.
As you set out to make your New Year's resolutions, consider these valuable lessons that I've learned from my son:
1. Focus your list on the most important thing to you
2. Spread the word about what you hope to attract into your life during the coming year
3. Expect to get what you say you want
4. Have faith that you will always have what you need
5. And view the rest as a bonus