Bob over at Christian Personal Finance did some research and compiled the top 10 New Year’s Resolutions. Three involve health, three involve money, two involve giving more time/money to others, and the final two are related to employment.

I shook my head in disappointment while reading that list. Sure, I sit around with my friends and share the changes we’d like to make in our lives, but seeing the list and knowing that so many other people share these same goals made me reflect on larger issues affecting us.

  • We eat too much
  • We spend too much
  • We don’t focus on our passion
  • We aren’t connected enough

New Year’s offers a time of reflection yet I know people recognize that they are out of shape, broke, unhappy, and alone way before December 31st. Why do we wait until now to promise to change?

Waiting until New Year’s reveals something else about us: we think we have to go it alone. New Year’s provides a spiritual sense of rejuvenation, of personal rebirth. But too often we make these resolutions and keep them to ourselves.

Making these kinds of changes requires communal effort. We have to change how we all approach and value ourselves and our lives.

Make your resolutions public. That way you have others who can hold you accountable and help you accordingly. If I tell everyone in the office I am on diet, guess what? They quit passing me the coffee cake!

Let people know why you are making the change. Tell your friends that you feel isolated or upset that you haven’t been around as much. Doing so makes people feel good, invites them to be involved, and you’ll remind yourself of why you need to make the change

Join groups/associations that address your resolution. Online communities or meetups allow you to share struggles and learn tips on better achieving your resolution.

Find a mentor. Often times we overlook the successful people in our lives. Why not sit down with them and ask them to show you the ropes?

Recognize you are part of a larger issue. When one or two people are struggling, it’s a personal trouble. When millions of people are struggling, it’s an issue. Learn about the issues facing all of us and give your life some context. Join the discussions about changing how we view our lives in terms money, health, love, and work. Act on what you know and encourage others to do the same.