The New Year is approaching. Christmas hasn’t arrived and most of us are focusing on the holiday shuffle making decisions based on the options that we have with the people we love. Every year, the 25th draws neigh with sugarplum fairy visions that dance through our heads for that perfect celebration scene. It scrolls through our social media feeds.

Then… it happens. The day comes and the feeds change as people share their experiences. Posts of #disappointments, #discouragement, and #discourse are seen as I wade through the suicide watch forums to offer support for those who need to be heard.

To share, were you aware that, in January of 2017 the University of Scranton discovered:

  • Only 12.3 percent their US dataset sample committed to life and self-improvement
  • Less than half of the US dataset sample usually make a New Year’s resolution at a sad 41 percent
  • A dismal percentage of 16.3 percent of the 41 percent who do make a #resolution are over 50-years-old and accomplish their goal while a whopping 37.8 percent that achieves their ambition are people in their twenties

#Veterans and #PTSD forums have been the passion behind this choice as a result of my lessons that I have learned with my lack of understanding. This objective was because I realized that I was not listening to the volume of veterans that I worked and studied with within most of my communities. I’ve learned that I may have been listening to reply instead of paying attention to what was not being said. I own that mistake. That was a choice I made and it was harming, not helping.

Listening to Understand
Listening to understand is a choice: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen Covey

A beloved millennial who is doing his time to do his service spoke with me today. He asked, “How are you doing?” This genuine interest was almost a whisper that dripped of emotional longing to hear what I have learned this year. My inner-voice reminded me to be honest and candid. “I’m doing great, did you hear? I got a new job.”

He shared that the last time he called he heard that I was in the process of doing the homework and due diligence necessary to get my dream position with an organization that has the right culture that fits my needs.

“How did you get that job with that company? That’s amazing!” He asked.

That was the moment I was looking for. I did what I set out to accomplish and now it was time to share my experience of what did not work, the pain that was involved, the tears that were shed and what I did to rise above that.

Rise up against the odds by Jesse Jackson
If you fall behind, run faster. Never give up, never surrender, and rise up against the odds.” Jesse Jackson

If we want #change, we have to be the change to show what change should look like. Sam Horn urges us to wade into our lives. If not now, then when? If not us, then who? It is not enough to talk about what needs to change. It is not enough to tell people why they should change. We have to be the change and be what we believe. The ones who think they have done enough in the past, they’re living in the past and do not care to do anything more.

That’s them. If that’s all they want to do then that’s all they will ever do. We can do better and be better. The change begins with us to show, through action, then we can tell about the lessons that we learned with what we did. What are we willing to #commit to?

I fall, I rise, I make mistakes, I live, I learn, I’ve been hurt, but I’m alive. I’m human and I’m not perfect but I’m thankful…” – Unknown

Christiana Star of PsychCentral shared 6 important steps to have a strong sense of self so we can be empowered to be authentic, confident and have the vitality that is necessary for us to hit our target goals:

  1. Intrapersonal communication has an impact on what we do. Do we know ourselves?
  2. When we listen to the chatter in our heads, are they harmful or are they helpful? Christiana encourages us to accept ourselves with where we are at in our development stage.
  3. Our boundaries are comprised of the values we believe in and I have learned that my boundary statements should be revisited every year because, as we learn our lessons, those boundaries will shift and we have to adjust accordingly as we continue to stand our ground to uphold the ethics we believe in.
  4. Apprehension, our fears, create bias. At every opportunity, when we feel anxiety as a result of our fears, Christiana advises us to challenge those fears by mistrusting them.
  5. It is not enough to know who we are, we must also accept who we are. I’ve learned to ask myself if the intrapersonal communication I’m hearing is something that is helping. If what is being said is said by someone who I think is a friend, would they still be a friend? I believe that this is an important question to ask ourselves because it is important to care enough about ourselves to be a good friend with our inner-person.
  6. This is your life, isn’t it? When we live our journey based on what others want us to do, where are we relinquishing control? You are the person that has to live with the consequences of your choices. Take charge of your life and lead yourself to the path that fits your needs. This is my interpretation of Christiana’s sixth point that we should consider for a happier life.
Setting Boundaries
The source of this image is not known. However, this is sound advice to keep in mind for your commitments for change.

Which percentage do you fall into? Have you decided what your commitment will be for the New Year? Surround yourself with the mentors that you would like to be like. If we are embarrassed and fearful to connect with them because they do not know us, then at least follow them and ask them questions.

If you do not like the ratio that you are noticing for your life that fits your life journey, what are you willing to do to march forward to find the society that can work with an embrace of unity so everyone in that group is empowered with the tools they need to succeed?

#SamHorn is another one of my favorite mentors. She doesn’t know who I am and I lurk over her posts and social contributions as I push through my fears to wade in towards the life I seek. Are you ready to wade in with me? Let’s accomplish amazing things together. First, let’s begin by listening to successful professionals to understand where we can strengthen our resolve to be a part of the successful percentage. Are you willing to commit to that with me? If not, that is okay. If you are–let’s go!