January is the universal month that we spend much of our time going public with our desires to improve ourselves. We want to be thinner, healthier, happier, richer, less stressed and more organized. We want to start a new hobby, stop an old habit, say no to doing so much and say yes to finding some “me time”.
The problem with our New Year’s resolutions is that they never offer a real solution to our true desire.
At the core of all of our resolutions is the desire to improve ourselves, to be a better person. And while all of those things are great ideas, not one of them can accomplish that.
Sure, you should lose a few pounds. You should definitely quit smoking. I’m a huge fan of being organized and learning new things. But those are things you should just do because they’re good for you. Those are not things that you need a new month or year to do. And those are certainly not things that are going to make you any better than the person you are right at this very moment.
So who is a “better person”? It’s someone who inspires others to be better people too.
People that truly inspire others are people who don’t focus on changing themselves. Instead, they look beyond themselves and they see the brokenness in the world around them…and then they do something about it.
Inspiration is the restaurant owner who doesn’t turn away the homeless, but offers them food. It’s a community that raises money to support their neighbor who’s losing a battle with cancer. We’re inspired by little kids who start lemonade stands to raise money for puppy shelters and teens who collect prom dresses for girls that can’t afford one. People who use their voice to advocate for others and those that use their influence to bring attention to the problems and needs of others, they are the ones that inspire us.
Nobody’s ever been inspired by someone whose one accomplishment in life was to maintain their ideal body weight.
So now that we’re well in to January and our resolutions are probably broken anyhow, I have a suggestion. Let’s spend some time figuring out how to be better people. Let’s figure out what breaks our hearts and let’s start to fix the broken things around us. I know that we will never be able to change the world, but we can change the world for one person. And that’s inspirational. That, my friends, is a real-solution worth having.