The pressure is on.

An entire new year depends upon your will power.

Can you last 365 days?

Will your resolve crack in front of the breadbasket, the Shake Shack or the Cheesecake Factory? Will you pick up the martini, the Marlboros or the molten lava cake?

Will you skip the treadmill, forgo your Fitbit and grow spuds on the couch as you binge watch “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”?

I love the clean slate of a new year. The whole world gets a reboot. What will we do with it? Eat less? Move more? Learn piano, Hebrew or the tango?

I’ve been studying tips on Facebook on how not to screw up an entire new year. An article by Parker Nash challenges us to stop doing 16 things in the new year. Be a quitter. Doesn’t that sound grand?

He urges us to stop caring what others think, doing too much, meddling, stalling, worrying, procrastinating and seeking pleasure instead of purpose.

How? Create a powerful morning routine so you can own the day right from the start. His morning rules include “no email, phone or electronic screens

60 minutes before and after sleep.”

I’m moving my cell phone out of my bedroom. If that’s all I change in 2019, that changes everything. If you make only one change in the new year, go phone free for awhile. Less screen time, especially upon awakening and going to sleep. That’s the most precious time to build your relationship with you, God and your significant other.

An article by Ryan Holiday said to forget resolutions and think small. Instead of changing 20 things, pick one habit that will make a world of difference and focus on that. Set a new time to wake up. If you want to work out every day, place your gym clothes so close to your bed you have to trip over them to not work out.

I just finished reading “You Can’t Hurt Me” by Navy SEAL David Goggins, an ultra-marathon runner who set a world record for the most pull-ups in 24 hours: 4,025. He barks we’re addicted to comfort, that when we feel the urge to quit, we’re actually only at 40 percent of our true capability.

Imagine what would happen if we activated the other 60 percent? How? Start with an armored mind. He calls it a “calloused” mind. Control your thoughts. Don’t let doubt in. Push past pain. He hummed “Adagio in Strings” from the movie “Platoon” to keep from caving during SEAL training. Or was it Ranger training? He completed both.

So, I collected all these great ideas to improve me, then I heard that quiet, whisper of my soul, that still, small voice that calls from somewhere deep within that urged, “Just love you, Regina. As is. Just love today, as is. Just love your husband, as is. Just love this life, as is.”

As is. Without any conditions, additions or changes.

Love it all. How?

Day by precious day.

Yes, you have a brand spanking new year, all shiny and untarnished, that rolls out before you like a red carpet. You will spill wine on it. You will trip on it. You will stumble all over it.

Love it all. Even the stumbles.

Last week I tumbled down the steps. Not all of them, but the last five were a blur. I had on my cozy socks, which are also, apparently, the slipperiest ones. I went airborne then landed crumbled up like a wad of paper on the floor.

Everything hurt. My shoulder slammed into the wall. My bottom hit the last step so hard I wondered if you can actually break your butt.

“Are you OK?” my husband yelled from upstairs. “I don’t know,” I squeaked, half laughing and half scared a few precious parts were broken.

Then I took a deep breath, slowly unfolded myself and checked in with my body. It was fine. Nothing broken, just a few bruises sprouting. Instead of beating myself up for walking too fast or not being present, I simply thanked my body and marveled at it for being so strong.

Maybe a new year isn’t about changing or improving ourselves, but another chance to acknowledge the marvelous beings we already are, to face life head-on and love it all, bruises and losses, stumbles and fumbles and falls.

I might just keep it simple and steal my new mantra for 2019 from Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield:

Wake up.

Feel dangerous.


Read Regina Brett online at Connect with her on Facebook at ReginaBrettFans. 2018 Best Columnist, AJPA Louis Rapoport Award for Excellence in Commentary.


Letters, commentaries and opinions appearing in the Cleveland Jewish News do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company, its board, officers or staff.

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