I have never been a big New Year’s Resolution guy…. not really sure why. After hearing lots about resolutions over the past several weeks I found myself wondering what my resolutions would be if I did decided to adopt a few for 2017. Eating healthy seems to be a good standby and would certainly be a worthy goal for me. Reading more would also likely be high on my list of options along with spending more time with family. But if I decide to choose a resolution I think it would be “assuming the best in others.”
My love of sweets makes the whole “eating healthy” resolution doomed from the start, and Twitter often becomes my Cliff Notes of reading. So those two, although certainly worthy, look like they’re out. “Assuming the best” is not a new goal for me but one that seems worthy of official New Year’s status. I have frequently shared my belief that assuming the best in others is one of the most powerful things we can do for them and for ourselves, yet ensuring my belief in this area matches my actions is certainly a challenge.
I find that when I take an assume the best approach I listen more and talk less (another worthwhile resolution I could consider). My desire to understand opens doors to learn, and when I practice assuming the best I almost always leave the interaction feeling pretty good. On the other hand, I can recall several clear examples where I entered conversations not assuming the best only to find that my negative assumptions were off base. Those interactions often resulted in relationship withdrawals that could have been avoided with a different approach on my part. I have also found that when I assume the best and my assumptions were incorrect, I still tend to feel better about the interactions.
So although I can’t remember the last time I saw midnight on New Year’s Eve, and I have never taken a polar bear plunge on New Year’s Day, it may be time to rethink my aversion to New Year’s resolutions, assuming this one could be just what I need.
I hope you and your families each experience a 2017 filled with growth where you can join me in assuming the best in those around us. I have a slightly unfair advantage since I am surrounded by kids every day and assuming the best from the young people you send to our schools is not too tough a resolution to keep!
Happy New Year!