Typically, the beginning of a new year is when many of us resolve to do something--for example, lose weight, save money, volunteer, begin/end a relationship, take a class, pursue a hobby, take a trip, start a business, live a dream, learn a new language, etc. We're often better positioned to achieve at least some of our resolutions if self-improvement is part of the package.

As for me, I make a continuing lifestyle commitment to joy, which includes encouraging others to live joyfully. Because it's important to me to live what I encourage, my commitment requires periodic examinations of my relationships (including my relationship with God); my hope; peace; attitude; outreach efforts; eating habits; professional and extracurricular activities; willingness to forgive, etc., to determine if modifications and/or improvements are necessary. If I fail to perform these periodic checks, I risk my joy being compromised. And since I'm committed, that's not an option. I can either be resolute and do the work required to maintain and increase my joy, or resigned to accepting the status quo or going with the flow. Without a doubt, there will always be circumstances beyond my control, and I love the excitement of going with the flow. But I'm learning to accept what I can't control, and to temper going with the flow. Because if I'm not careful the flow can lead me down a path that's inconsistent with my commitment. So I remain resolute . . . about my joy and the work required.


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