Resolutions: How my 2016 will be influenced by a TEDx Talk


I’m a little bit of a different animal when it comes to observing the New Year.  While my friends tend to go out to big parties and get hangovers, then subsequently resolve to lose 50 pounds, save ten thousand bucks, stop drinking, cure cancer, end world hunger, and figure out how to stop the scourge of major motion pictures based on Nicholas Sparks novels, I tend to go to bed before the ball drops, hit the gym reasonably early on New Year’s Day, and make a very small set of resolutions.

This time of year, most people think of the word resolution according to this definition from

“a resolve; a decision or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.”

I have always tended to think in these terms myself, and am enough of a corporate wonk that I decided that if I am going to make a resolution, there should be an action plan to back it up. As a result, I tend go with the “behavior based” resolutions because I find most traditional resolutions to be too squishy, which is a recipe for  not accomplishing anything.  If I want to be fitter and healthier, it’s much better for me to say that I will work out 175 times during the year and meet with a nutrition coach every week than it is to just say I will lose weight or eat healthy.

This year, though, I’m adding a different type of resolution to the mix. One more in line with this definition, also from

the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose:

You see, I’ve been inspired to change my thinking about Crap That Life Hands Me.  How, you ask?

By a TEDx talk.

You know how TED and TEDx talks are supposed to be ideas worth spreading?  Some of them are, and some of them aren’t – and while spending some time visiting family right after Christmas, I finally took the time to watch a talk by a friend of a friend, JD Daniel.

JD’s talk, entitled Bullies at School and the Golden Rule, was delivered at TEDx Tryon, in Tryon NC, on September 12, 2015.  Most people wouldn’t think that a single woman who is not an educator would be drawn to a TEDx talk about school bullies, but as it turns out watching this video is one of the best ways I can think for anyone to spend 13 minutes and 6 seconds of their life.

The premise is this: JD’s daughter was getting bullied at school.  JD decided to teach her a totally different approach to addressing bullies.  JD and his family won.  The approach?




I’m not going to unpack the whole talk – JD does a way better job of that than I ever could.  I will say – I *must* say – that the principles he teaches his child about how to deal with bullies at school can apply to absolutely everyone, of any belief system, whether they have kids in school or not. All of us feel beat up by people we encounter in life at one time or another – by work, by an inconsiderate friend, by the guy who won’t let you work in with him at the gym, and any number of other folks.  Some of people beat us up maliciously and some do it inadvertently, but no matter what the circumstances, these situations can really suck.  And to make things worse, when we are caught in the wrong frame of mind, it’s easy for us to stew at the grave injustices of the situation and make matters worse. Nothing about this approach is helpful – NOTHING.  So I’ve decided to do my darndest to stop that madness and approach such scenarios the way JD suggests.




I have a feeling it won’t be easy, and I fully expect that at some point, I will engage in an epic rant about the guy who cut in front of me in line at the bank or the boss who asked me to work late to cover for someone else’s screw-up, and someone might have to remind me that my reaction isn’t constructive.  But it is important enough to me to be a light in dark places that I am going to give it a shot.




It’s an idea worth spreading.


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