Thursday, January 10, 2013

Of Regrets and Resolutions

Why do we start a New Year off with resolutions? I mean were just gonna screw it up anyway right?! Ha! Well if I have learned anything in this life it's that progress is only achieved by slow and steady increments not by leaps and bounds. Negative self-talk will only hinder our growth. Back in massage school nearly 9 years ago at the ripe age of 21 one of my teachers talked a lot about "the tape we all play in our heads" it was the first I had heard of such a thing. Well when you are trying to help someone achieve greater health you have to understand that most people talk really negatively to themselves and if you want to help them you need to help them stop barageing themselves with thoughts that put a halt to all progress. So throw out that old tape and start fresh! ( You're probably going to have to throw it out dozens of times, it's like a Ouija board they just keep coming back! So chop it up and scatter the pieces and burn it if necessary) 

Now that we are thinking fresh lets move on. I re-read this talk recently and it's quite appropriate for this time of year. It's hard to pick out just a few things for New Year's resolutions however if we have too long a list like more then 5 I think we are setting ourselves up to fail. We need to choose those things that are truly of the most importance and then PLAN out how to achieve our resolutions. Not planning is a plan to fail, right?!  Here are 3 suggestions that I think are incredibly important to keep in mind when you setting your resolutions.

Of Regrets

"When we are young, it seems that we will live forever. We think there is a limitless supply of sunrises waiting just beyond the horizon, and the future looks to us like an unbroken road stretching endlessly before us.

However, the older we get, the more we tend to look back and marvel at how short that road really is. We wonder how the years could have passed so quickly. And we begin to think about the choices we made and the things we have done. In the process, we remember many sweet moments that give warmth to our souls and joy to our hearts. But we also remember the regrets—the things we wish we could go back and change.
A nurse who cares for the terminally ill says that she has often asked a simple question of her patients as they prepared to depart this life.
“Do you have any regrets?” she would ask.
Being so close to that final day of mortality often gives clarity to thought and provides insight and perspective. So when these people were asked about their regrets, they opened their hearts. They reflected about what they would change if only they could turn back the clock.

Daddy daughter piano lessons

I Wish I Had Spent More Time with the People I Love

Perhaps the most universal regret dying patients expressed was that they wished they had spent more time with the people they love.
Men in particular sang this universal lament: they “deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the [daily] treadmill of … work.”3 Many had lost out on choice memories that come from spending time with family and friends. They missed developing a deep connection with those who meant the most to them.
Isn't it true that we often get so busy? And, sad to say, we even wear our busyness as a badge of honor, as though being busy, by itself, was an accomplishment or sign of a superior life.

Is it?
I think of our Lord and Exemplar, Jesus Christ, and His short life among the people of Galilee and Jerusalem. I have tried to imagine Him bustling between meetings or multitasking to get a list of urgent things accomplished.
I can’t see it.
Instead I see the compassionate and caring Son of God purposefully living each day. When He interacted with those around Him, they felt important and loved. He knew the infinite value of the people He met. He blessed them, ministered to them. He lifted them up, healed them. He gave them the precious gift of His time. Let us resolve to cherish those we love by spending meaningful time with them, doing things together, and cultivating treasured memories.
I Wish I Had Lived Up to My Potential
Another regret people expressed was that they failed to become the person they felt they could and should have been. When they looked back on their lives, they realized that they never lived up to their potential, that too many songs remained unsung.
I am not speaking here of climbing the ladder of success in our various professions. That ladder, no matter how lofty it may appear on this earth, barely amounts to a single step in the great eternal journey awaiting us.
Rather, I am speaking of becoming the person God, our Heavenly Father, intended us to be.
We arrive in this world, as the poet said, “trailing clouds of glory”4 from the premortal sphere.
Our Heavenly Father sees our real potential. He knows things about us that we do not know ourselves. He prompts us during our lifetime to fulfill the measure of our creation, to live a good life, and to return to His presence.
Why, then, do we devote so much of our time and energy to things that are so fleeting, so inconsequential, and so superficial? Do we refuse to see the folly in the pursuit of the trivial and transient?
Would it not be wiser for us to “lay up for [ourselves] treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal”?5

I Wish I Had Let Myself Be Happier

Magic exists only in the moment
Another regret of those who knew they were dying may be somewhat surprising. They wished they had let themselves be happier.
So often we get caught up in the illusion that there is something just beyond our reach that would bring us happiness: a better family situation, a better financial situation, or the end of a challenging trial.
The older we get, the more we look back and realize that external circumstances don’t really matter or determine our happiness.
We do matter. We determine our happiness.
You and I are ultimately in charge of our own happiness.
Sometimes in life we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find joy in the journey. I don’t go cycling with my wife because I’m excited about finishing. I go because the experience of being with her is sweet and enjoyable.
Doesn’t it seem foolish to spoil sweet and joyful experiences because we are constantly anticipating the moment when they will end?
Do we listen to beautiful music waiting for the final note to fade before we allow ourselves to truly enjoy it? No. We listen and connect to the variations of melody, rhythm, and harmony throughout the composition.
Do we say our prayers with only the “amen” or the end in mind? Of course not. We pray to be close to our Heavenly Father, to receive His Spirit and feel His love.
We shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available—all the time! Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect. “This is the day which the Lord hath made … ,” the Psalmist wrote. “Rejoice and be glad in it.”6
Brothers and sisters, no matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it.
Perhaps we should be looking less with our eyes and more with our hearts. I love the quote: “One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”7

Of Resolutions

One day we will take that unavoidable step and cross from this mortal sphere into the next estate. One day we will look back at our lives and wonder if we could have been better, made better decisions, or used our time more wisely.
To avoid some of the deepest regrets of life, it would be wise to make some resolutions today. Therefore, let us:
    Resolve to spend more time with those we love.
    Resolve to strive more earnestly to become the person God wants us to be.
    Resolve to find happiness, regardless of our circumstances.
(I didn't copy and paste it I left a bunch out so if you want to read the full address go for it you won't be sorry you did.)

Let us all press on! If you feel in the least discouraged I think you should read this cause we are all doers of awesomeness,<--link :) yep YOU! (Thanks Cami for sharing it with me)

You successful goal setters and more importantly achievers any success stories or tips you would like to share? Or any thing you have learned from your failures? 

-All my love,



  1. Thanks for posting this. I've been working on not letting myself dwell on past mistakes. I've just recently realized that I do that a lot. So that is my little goal for the new year. I also love that talk... one of my favorites :)

  2. It's super easy to dwell on the negative and our shortcomings because I think the lazy or insecure part of us doesn't want to own the expectations that come with living up to our potential. If we never try, we will never fail. I think that tape plays in our minds in such a subtle way, it's the white noise that keeps us sedentary. I always say, "If we had done it right the first time we wouldn't be in this situation." But the truth is, there is no right or wrong and we do the best we can in the circumstances we are in. It takes experiences to know what to do and sometimes that comes much later in for me, haha!

  3. I had quit doing New Years resolutions as a teenager because I never knew anyone who actually got them done. I hadn't done new years resolutions for years. Then I happened on an idea that I tweaked to fit me. The original idea was to come up with a list of 101 things you wanted to do in 1001 days. I decided to make a 101 Things I want to do each year list. This year is my 4th year in a row making the list. I've only ever gotten around 1/2 of them done, but that's at least 50 goals, so I'm not complaining. With this list I'm able to break down my larger goals (like your three main goals you talked about in your post) into smaller bites. Last year I wanted to spend more time with Cameron doing things he likes to do, but I knew that was too broad, so I came up with smaller goals I could do to work towards that (so one goal was to go on a walk/hike with Cameron at least once a month). Larger goals are more doable if you break them down into bite sized chunks. And then you feel extra good because you're accomplishing a smaller goal, which is then accomplishing a bigger goal, so you're doing 2 goals at once. Anyway...I've found that making the 101 Things list each year helps me to accomplish more goals and to learn how to break down big goals into doable sized chunks.


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