Veterans New Year’s Resolutions

  • Veterans have to help each other.
  • I will patronize other veterans’ businesses and when possible will employ veterans in my own business.
  • The actual process of developing resolutions is useful, instructive, because it causes us to think.

New Year’s Resolutions are a waste of time. At least, that’s what a majority of psychologists maintain. After all, if there was something that could significantly improve your life, you’d have already done it right?  Indeed, New Year’s resolutions are almost useless. In fact, by some studies the percentage of Americans who keep their New Year’s resolutions are in the single digits.

“The US military is the most highly-respected institution in America, and I’m going to do my part to keep it that way. I will set a personal example of responsible citizenship, and hold fellow veterans to the same standard.”

Promises of change made to oneself on New Year’s Eve quickly and routinely dissolve into dithering, failure, and regret. There are multiple reasons for this pattern of failure. However, the key reason for this continued “Road to Ruin” is this “Negative-Weakness Approach” to self improvement.

That’s right. New Year’s resolutions focus on weaknesses. A strength-based approach is far better. Any habit of repeatedly breaking your own word devalues it, and experiencing self-inflicted failure can lower your self-esteem.

A better approach in positive psychology is the concept of “strength intervention.” Psychological studies suggest that we benefit greatly from tending to our strengths. In fact, it appears that we often get more health bang for our effort buck by focusing on maximizing our strengths rather than minimizing our weaknesses.

To that end, a strength-focused New Year’s tradition would involve reflecting on and identifying what’s going well in our lives—our talents, meaningful achievements, helpful habits, and solid alliances—and resolving to maintain those and become more intentional about protecting, celebrating, and building on them. Additionally, the actual process of developing resolutions is useful, instructive, because it causes us to think.

Consequently, I am committing myself to living by these “Eight New Year’s Resolution for Veterans” which appeared in The Havoc Journal in 2015. And if you’re a veteran, I hope you will too.

Happy New Year, everyone. Let’s resolve to make this year better than the last.

 

Eight Veteran Resolutions, by Scott Faith

1)  I will tell my story.

Every veteran has a story that needs to be told. Sharing is therapeutic; it can help repair the mental wounds of war, and it keeps our fellow citizens informed about the wars we fight on their behalf. It also helps encourage and inspire the next generation of young men and women who are willing to support and defend our Constitution and our nation.  But I will tell my stories the right way, and keep faith with my nation and my fellow service members.

2)  I will not act as if the world owes me something.

The world doesn’t owe me anything simply because I am a veteran. All I expect is a fair shake and the benefits I was promised to be there for me, like I was there for my country. While I appreciate expressions of gratitude for my service, I do not feel entitled to them. I will not go through life with a chip on my shoulder and the expectation that I deserve “something more” simply because I had the opportunity to serve my country.

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Dana Matthews

Dr Dana Matthews is a Lieutenant Colonel, US Army Ranger (Retired). He holds a BA in Journalism, an MBA/JD Law Degree, and a Doctorate in Organizational Psychology.

He is a Member of the National Press Club in Washington DC and has appeared on TV and Radio.

He was awarded the Military Order of the Purple Heart for Combat Wounded Veterans.

Dr Dana Matthews is a well published Journalist and writer with articles appearing in the Scripps Newspaper/ TCPALM.COM

He also co authored and published a novel entitled " El Segundo- One Man's Journey for Redemption". 


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