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One, Simple Resolution for 2019 That Will Make You Happier and More Realistic

I’ve often been accused of burying the lede for the sake of sugar-coated storytelling and creativity. Maybe I can get it right — at least once.

Forgive yourself.

As the internet fills with memes, vlogs, and blogs — oh my! — discussing goals for the new year and forecasts for 2019, there’s one simple resolution every single one of us needs.

No matter your background, social media following, income, weight, or nationality, this one’s for you.

Forgive yourself.

Didn’t lose that weight last year? Just try just a bit harder starting today. What if you juiced your willpower by only  10 percent?

So what if you didn’t find your abs at the gym but in 2019 you found the time to go three or four more days per month? Maybe a year from now you’ll congratulate yourself instead of eating a big bowl of feelings beneath a mountain of marshmallow cream and hot fudge. Or, maybe you’ll do both, and that’ll be just fine.

Didn’t budge that pile of credit card debt in 2018?

Forgive yourself.

Throw away last year’s plan and make a new one. Keep it simple. Plan for mistakes. Then forgive yourself and move on just a buck at a time.

Still beating yourself up that you didn’t finish high school? Finish this article then immediately search “How to earn my GED.” There are oceans of options.

Tired of looking in the mirror and seeing that person who dropped out of college to chase a career as an independent filmmaker, or to backpack Bulgaria, or to write a novel, but is still working graveyards at the Quickie Mart?

Forgive yourself.

Then, quickly, today, before you punch out for the night, look at the myriad avenues available for earning a degree online, or at night school, or at that community college that your fancy friends look down on.

Feeling remorse over something you did? Thought? Texted? Wrote in an emotional email?

Make it right, then forget it.

Feeling guilty because you still haven’t forgiven your ex-spouse? Or the old friend who unfriended you on Facebook? Or the colleagues who lied to boost their own careers? Or the sibling who said that one thing at that one family reunion that hurt your heart?

How can you expect to forgive them until you’ve forgiven yourself?

Imagine the wide smiles and bright eyes we’d see on the street every day if we’d quit carrying around the self-inflicted pain and regret of last year’s failures. Why not empty our emotional baggage and fill it with new dreams and achievements, no matter how small they may be?

Maybe you’re reading this, pondering the year ahead, and thinking you’re just not ready to forgive yourself for whatever mistakes have you stuck in the mud.

Or, maybe you’ve decided you’re not yet able to forgive someone else.

Fine. Forgive yourself of that, too.

Then, when you’re ready, toss away those regrets that haunt your past and focus on what’s right in front of you.

You deserve it.

And so do the rest of us.

Lead image from Getty Images
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Jason F. Wright

Jason F. Wright is a New York Times bestselling author, columnist, and speaker. His inspiring book, The Seventeen Second Miracle, reflects how small kindnesses can transform grief and produce life-changing miracles. Read more of Jason's uplifting writing in The Seventeen Second Miracle and Courage to Be Youwhich details Gail Miller's fascinating story of growing faith, overcoming grief, and finding the courage to share her own voice. Subscribe to his weekly columns, join him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.

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