Carol Sanders | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
By now some of your New Year’s resolutions may already be broken, but that does not mean it is too late for reflection or resolutions, said Dr. Janette Wheat, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff associate professor and Cooperative Extension Program human development and family studies specialist.
Many of us have regrets from time to time, but we can minimize or avoid big ones by periodically asking ourselves if we have any regrets and then doing something about them, added Dr. Wheat.
She wholeheartedly agrees with Dennis Trittin, author of “What I Wish I Knew at 18” and “Parenting for the Launch,” who said that although the New Year is great time to start, reflecting on regrets and resolutions is a good practice to adopt all year long.
Find a place that inspires you and then let your mind think of new growth possibilities. Sometimes a renewed spirit, new ideas and insights that surface may surprise you. And, Dr. Wheat suggests to remember the wisdom to be learned from older people, who when asked about life regrets frequently comment that they didn’t spend enough time with loved ones, tell family and friends they loved them, was too stubborn or proud to admit mistakes and apologize, or allowed their life to be consumed by work.
Other comments heard is that seniors hesitated to take risks, try new things or believe in themselves; wasted too much time; didn’t appreciate the little things in life; valued things over relationships or worried too much.
“Notice that most comments involve relationships and priorities,” Dr. Wheat, said. “That is why balance in life and priorities is so important. When something is out of order, resolve to make a mid-course correction.”
After reflecting, think about what resolutions you should be making for the coming year especially those that minimize any regrets you may have next year at this time, she said.
Strive to turn resolutions into goals and goals into actions, said Dr. Wheat, who agrees with Trittin that the discipline of reflection, resolution and regret is a noble one. And, remember to share it with young people so they may say at the end of the year, “No regrets.”
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