Now is the time to throw out the old and ring in the new. The natural response to the beginning of a New Year is usually optimistic and goal-centered. This is when we do some personal housecleaning, getting excited about resolutions that will make us better parents, better employees, better people, and maybe even thin again.
Innumerable resolutions have been made over the course of history, and I’ve often wondered where they end up when they aren’t kept. Is there a “resolution junkyard” somewhere littered with all those promises we made with zeal and determination on Jan. 1, and forgot by Jan. 10?
The basic problem with me and resolutions is that most of the time I’m just too tough on myself. I’ve set unattainable goals in a quest for perfection that is simply not in my realm of capabilities. So, in an attempt to defray frustration, I start making minor, reasonable
adjustments to my resolutions …
Instead of giving up fattening desserts, I’m going to give up caviar and Chateaubriand.
Instead of organizing my office, I’m going to learn to live with my own efficiency plan — “leave everything where I know I can find it.”
Instead of learning to be a gourmet cook, I’ll order my take-out food from Chef Tell.
Instead of cutting down on the amount of time I spend reading, I’ll take 10 minutes of every hour and walk around the house with my book so I get some exercise.
Instead of trying to be a perfect Mom, I’ll just let my kids think what they want of me….
… and the list goes on.
But under the jokes we can make about the annual tradition of New Year’s resolutions, there is something good and wholesome about the concept of fresh starts and new beginnings. It fills us with a sense of hopefulness and positive power. We are strong. We’re invincible.
Well, maybe that’s going too far. . .
But seriously, we all need the renewal of spirit and hope the celebration of the whole holiday season brings us. For Christians it starts with the Advent preparation with its theme of eager anticipation. It’s punctuated dramatically with the fulfillment of promises on Christmas Day, giving us new life in the birth of Jesus. And it culminates in the atmosphere of exciting possibilities for growth and change presented to us in the New Year.
Even though I know I’m the world’s worst resolution-keeper, each year I always feel energized as I contemplate all that can be accomplished with the time stretching before me. I welcome the opportunity to set new goals, or resurrect old goals with a renewed
conviction that this year I can do better.
So here’s to all our resolutions. May none of them end up in the junkyard.