A New Year, A New Goal

The new year is full of reflection, promises, hope, and resolutions! You know the ones that are easy to predict – wake up early, get healthy, save money, and more! I read somewhere to just pick one word and let that be your goal for the new year.  Feeling optimistic, I chose two words – one for my professional life and one for my personal life. I chose money and skinny!  Later that day, a phrase came to mind for another goal:

Thoughts without judgement.  

I am generally a likeable person.  I think if you asked my coworkers to describe me, they would say I am nice.  If you asked my family, they would say I am nice.  If you ask my ex-husband’s wife, even she would say I am nice.  I’ve never bragged about being the smartest or the prettiest or the wealthiest, but I do brag about being one of the nicest.  I quantify “nice” by my actions.  I’m agreeable, kind, and easy going. I try to be generous with my time. If you need me to take on a project at work, I’ll do it.  If a friend needs help with moving, I’m there with boxes.  You need a ride to the airport? I’ll drive. 

Which brings me to the phrase: thoughts without judgement.  You see, being nice is easy, but sometimes my thoughts are not so nice.  Sometimes in my thoughts, I am quick to complain, judge, criticize, mock.  There may even be some inward eye rolling followed by silent insults.

Thoughts without judgement.

So, does keeping those judgmental thoughts to myself make me a nice person?  Does keeping rude comments to myself make me a nice person?  Does having s little self-control and not speaking out make me a nice person?  Absolutely not.  It makes me a hypocrite. 

At work, I shared my new year’s resolution with my friend.  I can’t even remember how the topic came up, but it did.  Of course her reply was, “Talley, you are a nice person.”   We talked a bit more and then both went back to work.  Later that day, she came into my room to vent – as we often do with one another.  You know the venting I’m referring to.  When you have to talk about someone who just said something annoying, disagreed with you, or heaven forbid – asked you to do something!  Anyways – she came into my room to share the “thoughts” that were running through her head, and then she stopped herself.  Suddenly remembering my new agenda, she decided to keep her negative thoughts to herself.  It was like not offering someone a dozen donuts when you know they are on a diet!

A similar exchange happened with my mother.  I told her about my thoughts without judgement plan, and she caught herself before criticizing someone. 

It’s been almost a week, and I can already see a difference! I’ve been keeping a mental score of how many times a judgmental thought pops into my head.  It was disappointing as first, realizing how hurtful I can be. This much needed self-reflection is slightly heartbreaking.  Thankfully, I’ve been able to catch myself mid-thought.  I can recognize and stop what is happening.  I am quickly shifting away from those negative thoughts altogether.

Thoughts without judgement

So, it’s the beginning of a new year.  Yes!  I want to make more money.  Yes! I want to be skinny.  But even more than that, I want to actually be what I claim to be. I want to be a better person, I want to be a nice person.  The next time someone describes me as such, I want it to be true.  

Published by Talley

Talley is a teacher and a writer. She graduated from East Carolina University in May 2006, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and has been a classroom teacher for over 15 years.

2 thoughts on “A New Year, A New Goal

  1. Don’t be too hard on yourself, Talley. I don’t see how any of us can have thoughts without judgement. After all, is that not how we evaluate the world and our place in it? Each of us has a sort of built-in filing system in our brain into which we funnel our feelings, observations and decisions. This filing system along with our memories serves as a filter for our thoughts and a guide for our behavior. God, in all His wisdom, created us so that our thoughts are private and cannot be read by anyone but Him. This is to protect us. Someone may say to you, “I know what you’re thinking.” But the best they can do is make a guess based on how well they know you– again, running it through their filter. So, I would say that thoughts without judgement is not something we should try to master. And that doesn’t make us hypocrites, just human. Perhaps thoughts without speaking is a starting place. Or thoughts with allowances, which would let us consider the situation from a different viewpoint before making a final judgement. Or we could just take Thumper’s father’s advice: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

    Liked by 1 person

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