weather icon Clear

Resolution jar keeps track of deeds

It’s that time of year again — that time when we promise ourselves to lose that last 10 pounds, give up smoking or change whatever behavior is most rankling us at that moment. Making New Year’s resolutions is a worldwide habit that is notorious for its dismal failure. So, why do we do it?

Our intentions are good, our attention to the problem is admirable, but this only seems to last a few weeks at the most. Our focus wanders onto life in general and the intent is lost. Then we spend the rest of the month beating ourselves up because we didn’t get to achieve what we promised ourselves.

I think the problem is that we focus on physical changes (weight loss, breaking an addiction, eating healthier) rather than on mental, emotional or spiritual changes. Let’s try an experiment. This new year, why not focus on these three things? Every day try to learn something new; every day try something new; and every day help at least one other person in your community.

Some people keep a blessing jar, a small glass jar that they fill with small cards during the year that record when something good happens to them. At Thanksgiving, the jar is emptied and the blessings are read.

Why not keep a resolution jar that you fill with small cards or mementos each time you learn or do something new or when you help another person in your community? You could keep a resolution journal, too.

A few years ago I decided to try these three things, just because, and have been amazed at the new experiences that have come my way. For example, riding the Boulder City zip line, learning about human longevity, and helping a student purchase a computer. You never know what opportunities are available to you.

In the 1980s, researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote about a state of mind, called the flow experience, which comes about when we are enjoying certain activities. Flow can be experienced during creative activities such as art, religious rituals, play, work and sports experiences that require concentration. Flow is similar to the sense of absorption that we feel when we are totally immersed in an enjoyable activity and is usually followed by a sense of pride in our work, and a sense of accomplishment and happiness at its completion.

Flow cannot be forced; it just seems to appear when we are totally immersed in an activity for its own sake. Sports participants talk about being in the zone and feel that they achieve their best work when they are in that state.

Some of the most proficient writers, inventors and pioneers have recognized the flow experience and used it to produce their best work.

As the coming year becomes more complex it is good to feel that we are doing something good for ourselves and others. Keep learning, keep doing and keep helping others in the community — and Happy New Year.

Angela Smith is a Ph.D. life coach, author and educator who has been resident in Nevada since 1992. She can be reached at catalyst78@cox.net.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
What are you going to vote for?

I’m not asking “who” you are voting for. I’m asking “what” you voting for. When we cast our ballots this November, we won’t be casting our votes for an individual, even though it seems like it. We will be casting our votes for an ideal, a concept of democracy for our nation’s republic.

Congress has way to fix unemployment problems

Folks don’t like to face problems. They’re much easier to ignore. Everyone chooses. Face problems and find a solution or have them blow up in your face. Or, maybe you’ll get lucky and the problems vanish. Or, you carry them around and suffer the consequences day by day, usually for far too long.

New forum allows locals to share thoughts

Today we are introducing what we hope will become a regular feature in the Boulder City Review.

City needs ‘imperfect’ mayor who can see all sides

After only a few articles, demands of life are such that sadly, this will be my last article in the Boulder City Review. So I leave you with what I feel Boulder City needs.

Officers’ heroic actions merit recognition

Despite some who believe I should overdose on a lifetime supply of humble pie, I stand by my May 13 article wherein I claimed the coronavirus was being used by many to seize power. Merely observe those in power as they flaunt their own rules and change the threshold for restarting the economy.

Mayor does much to better Boulder City

Competent leadership of a family or another entity usually comes with weighty responsibilities and the absolute certainty that someone won’t be happy with some of the decisions made.

City needs new mayor now

There is an African proverb that translates to the familiar saying that it takes a village to raise a child. This literally means an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment. What’s my point? Right now, city hall isn’t united and our village isn’t healthy.

Build bridges, not barriers

Books and movies are meant to entertain, and often educate us. In today’s world, as we spend more time at home, the need to be entertained and educated has never been greater.

Council acts follow city charter

The blaring headline, the denigrating letters to the editor, the smoke thrown into our already hazy skies. All these false efforts result in the editor of this newspaper calling for the end of chaos at City Hall. Dire statements are cast forward that any action by the current City Council to govern this city are not worth our while.

City wrong to mandate voluntary unit

City Council’s action Tuesday night to require the Boulder City Police Department to maintain a mounted unit is wrong.