Resolutions

January 07, 2023

We are now officially one week into the New Year and today’s NY Times feed was about breaking this year’s resolutions.  It began say how many of us made resolutions saying we were going to live more in the moment, and how depending on which study you read “somewhere between everyone and everyone and their brother will have broken their New Year’s resolutions by February 14.”  The article went on to say January may be a bad time to make resolutions since the days are shorter, darker, and colder, and that may not be ideal for making (especially) fitness resolutions.  What was suggested was to resolve to make resolutions throughout the year.   Interesting, you can resolve to change anytime and not just on January 1st.

When I looked online, I found for many the New Year marks the beginning of a new phase.  Along with a new calendar we become psyched to improve ourselves and change our past habits.  It compels you to be the best version of yourself (sort of like watching a Rocky movie).   A New Year’s resolution is a promise you make to yourself to improve your life and work towards achieving a personal goal.  Researchers suggest that even if you do not keep the resolutions, it is a really good idea to make them anyway.  Being honest with yourself about your current condition and the distance to your preferred situation is key to improvement and being intentional about how you want to grow and develop will help you achieve results and contribute to your happiness.  Making New Year’s resolutions is inherently hopeful and optimistic as you expect things can get better for you, for your work experience, or for your community.  Most New Year’s resolutions impact others, and even if they are about individual self-improvement they affect families, friends, and colleagues.  When you seek to be or better, you also tend to inspire others as well.  You should work to keep resolutions, but even if you do not, the act of striving for them will have positive effects for you and for others.

Another suggestion offered in the Times article is to remember your resolutions do not have to punish you.  They do not have to involve curbing appetites or behaviors unless you want them to.  You can instead make resolutions to reward yourself more or to take more naps.  Resolutions do not have to be big changes that radically alter your life.  Your resolutions can be small and boring and meaningful only to you.  Setting resolutions throughout the year reminds you there can always be a clean slate.  The future is full of a day or month or year ahead with no mistakes in it (yet?). 

THOUGHTS:  I have never been big on setting resolutions on New Year’s Day.  It has always seemed too arbitrary and resolving to do anything “starting tomorrow” seems more like a delay tactic than something you really want to achieve.  When we give ourselves “one more chance to be bad” it is no wonder the resolutions are gone by Valentine’s Day.  Since I have already abandoned the two hard resolutions I made this year for January 1st, I might use today to set some easy ones.  Act for all.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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