Every year, millions of people around the world make and break New Year’s resolutions. But, it doesn’t need to be that way.
The key to successfully making and keeping resolutions is to set goals worth achieving. This post contains four worthwhile resolutions, most of which I first referenced early in 2015, but they’re worth sharing again. I also provide some important new material including my special recipe for the best hot chocolate ever.
Instead of setting overly challenging goals, I encourage you to adopt the four following, easy-to-keep resolutions. While easy to adhere to, the following resolutions are nevertheless meaningful. You’ll notice that my resolutions include something that will benefit you, something that will benefit others, something that will benefit your organization, and something that will benefit everyone:
1. Resolve to indulge yourself. Yes, you need to take care of yourself by eating right, exercising, and getting an annual medical physical. However, you also need to let yourself be bad occasionally. You need to also take care of your psyche. If that means having a slice of chocolate cake, then go for it! If it means watching old television episodes of Gilligan’s Island, so be it. If it means having your spouse watch the kids so you can enjoy a leisurely bubble bath, make it happen. By being good to yourself, you’ll be better able to be good to other people.
2. Resolve to make sure those you love know you love and appreciate them. Don’t assume that those you love know it or know the extent to which you care about them. Tell them. Show them. Don’t just run for the door in the morning to rush off to work; instead, take the time to kiss your spouse good-bye. Don’t just nod when your child comes home with a good test score; instead, take the time to tell him how impressed you are. Make your partner a steaming cup of tea before she asks for it or goes to make it herself. In other words, make the most of the little moments.
3. Resolve to grow professionally. One of the hallmarks of being a professional is ongoing education and sharing knowledge. So, commit to attending seminars and conferences. If time or money are obstacles, participate in a webinar; there are some excellent free webinar programs available throughout the year. Or, read a nonprofit management or fundraising book. There are some terrific books at The Nonprofit Bookstore (powered by Amazon) that will inspire and help you achieve greater results. You’ll find Reader Recommended titles, the complete AFP-Wiley Development Series, and other worthwhile items. If you have found a particular book helpful, consider sharing a copy with a friend, colleague, or your favorite charity. By the way, a portion of the sale of books through The Nonprofit Bookstore will be donated to charity.
4. Resolve to consume more chocolate. I’m not joking. Chocolate can be good for you, provided it’s free of emulsifiers and contains at least 70 percent cacao. Chocolate contains a number of minerals and antioxidants. It also causes the brain to release endorphins, pleasure chemicals. Chocolate is also a mild painkiller. And it tastes good. Just be sure not to overdo it. To help you with this resolution, here’s my special recipe for hot chocolate:
Michael’s Special Hot Chocolate Recipe
3 Level Tablespoons of Trader Joe’s Cocoa
2 Level Tablespoons of Sugar
1 Splash of Vanilla Extract
3 Tablespoons of Water
1 Pinch of Salt
1 Dash of Ground Cinnamon
1 Square of Trader Joe’s 71% Chocolate Bar
1 Cup (8 oz.) of Milk
Instructions: Place the cocoa, sugar, vanilla, and water in a small pot. Whisk until a smooth paste is formed; this step will ensure you don’t end up with lumpy hot chocolate. Once a smooth paste is formed, whisk in the salt and cinnamon. Then, heat the contents over a low-medium heat while slowly whisking in the milk. Continue whisking. As the hot chocolate begins to warm, add the chocolate square in pieces. Continue whisking until the chocolate square has melted and the liquid is heated to just below boiling. Pour into a mug and enjoy (my preferred way) or add your favorite additions: plain marshmallows, Trader Joe’s peppermint marshmallows (my second favorite option), a splash of cognac, etc.
(By the way, I mention Trader Joe’s products specifically for two reasons. First, I actually use the products I’ve mentioned, and I believe they produce a finer result. Second, the Trader Joe’s cocoa is not Dutch-processed; that means the cocoa has not been stripped of nutrients and antioxidants; it also means it has a more robust chocolate flavor. Trader Joe’s has not paid me for the endorsement. However, if a representative from Trader Joe’s is reading this, I’m open to receiving some free cocoa or chocolate bars…hint, hint.)
So, what’s your favorite New Year’s resolution or your favorite indulgence?
Have a great 2017!
That’s what Michael Rosen says… What do you say?