The Roundup -

New Year's Resolutions


January 17, 2018 | View PDF

With the return of January, every publication in creation tackles the subject of New Year’s resolutions and making improvements of all sorts in one’s life. When the new year dawns bright and fresh, writers, figuring this is a good way to fill blank pages, devote a lot of space discussing how and why to make resolutions, how to keep them, tricks and hints on how to follow through on those well-meaning resolves, and a host of other spin-offs on the subject of resolutions of all sorts.

Personally, I shake my head at all this hoopla, and I generally read very few of the multitude of articles available on the topic. I snicker when people earnestly talk about what they’ll accomplish thanks to their newly made new year‘s resolutions. Who do they think they are they fooling, besides themselves?

I didn’t always feel this way, basically because when I was young and foolish (er, make that inexperienced), I never bothered to scratch beneath the surface to discover the idea behind resolutions. I went along with the crowd. I felt it was my obligation to make all sorts of resolutions each January 1, most of which I promptly forgot about by the time I sat down to eat New Year’s dinner. I made the usual resolutions: work harder, exercise more, be kind to the grumpy old lady down the street and under NO circumstances ever let her chickens out again, and other notions that sounded noble and lofty at the time. A few of these resolutions remained on my mind for a day or two into the new year, (particularly the one about letting out the chickens, but that was more from the fear of retribution by my parents rather than any desire to behave myself) but then they too disappeared into the dust of everyday living (with the exception of the chickens, of course).

Age and experience finally caught up with me, along with some common sense and the realization that when I wanted or needed to make a change, the time was NOW, not at the start of a new year. New Year’s resolutions? Pish posh. What a waste of time for the most part, as the majority of new year resolutions consist more of a wish list rather than a to-do list or any real desire to make a lasting change.

If I want to try something new, shed a bad habit, visit the little old neighbor more often, or any other change that I want to see in my life, I can do that any day of any month of any year. Each day offers me an abundance of different choices, and I don’t need to wait until January 1 to begin again. I can start fresh any day I make up my mind to do so. I can resolve to start or stop something, make a needed change, or rethink how I tackle problems every day all year long, and when I make resolutions on any particular day OTHER than January 1, I have a pretty good chance of success, something I can’t say about making promises to myself on New Year’s Day just because that’s the custom.

I do believe in wishing people a Happy New Year, and in pondering the future as to what this bright new year may mean for me and my little world. However, the resolutions bit seems to consist mainly of fantasy ideas, and it provides unimaginative writers something to write about (present company excluded, of course). I do wish those who read my writings all the very best, and I encourage those of you who truly want to make some sort of change to go ahead and do so, but don’t make it a New Year’s resolution. Make it a promise to yourself and make that promise whatever day you honestly decide that now is the time to make that change, whether it is something small like read one more book a month, or something major like creating a new lifestyle. Make that resolution to yourself and for yourself and follow through. Just don’t make that resolve on January 1.


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