The Promise of a New Year: Why Our Resolutions Die

January 1. The thought of a fresh calendar is somehow all inspiring to so many, with myself included. The bright hope of referring to everything in future tense almost feels like a new frontier.

What will I achieve in the next 365 days? Who will I become over the course of 52 weeks? What will the world look like in 12 months? 

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Just like most, I set goals that I “resolve” to accomplish before the next shiny ball drops again. Unfortunately, again just like the masses, I usually fail to complete almost anything I set out to do. My goal last year was to lose the 10 pounds I had put on during the most stressful finals week to-date, which is a realistic goal, right? I mean, I had 365 days to drop 10 measly pounds, but by the year end I had managed to gain 3.

I had also resolved to start living a healthier lifestyle, but it’s December 29, and I ate almost an entire pack of cookies last night and that’s not an extremely rare occurrence for me. So one may read this and say I didn’t apply myself and that it was no one’s fault except for my own. And they would be right. But not for lack of trying, it was my fault for looking at it all the wrong way.

The New Year (2016 this time around) feels fresh and new to so many. Even though most of us will still have the same bills to pay, place to live, job to work, and people to care for that we did at 11:59 on the 31st. So if almost  everything is the same at 11:59 on the 31st, as 12:01 on January 1,2016 what makes that day special at all besides the digit at the end? The fact that it’s a New Day. 

This is what I have had to emphasize to myself in my own disciplines lately. Don’t look to or wait for the New Year to herald in some kind of revolution in your life, because there is nothing intrinsic about the renewal of the Gregorian Calendar that is going to bring change to anything. The problem with the New Year’s Resolution is the year part. I say I want to make 2016 the best year yet, but years are comprised of days. How will I achieve a goal in a year if I don’t treat each day of that year with the same excitement and vigor as New Years Eve?

So this year my New Year’s Resolution is to have goals, yes, but to make daily resolutions to choose happiness, and dedicate myself to my writing, arts, faith, and relationships. To reach my long-term goals by treating each morning as a new frontier to be conquered, and resolve myself to daily dedication.

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Shane and I hiking at Jones Gap on Dec. 26, 2015. 

“This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

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6 thoughts on “The Promise of a New Year: Why Our Resolutions Die

  1. This is such a motivating post. My favourite line is, “How will I achieve a goal in a year if I don’t treat each day of that year with the same excitement and vigor as New Years Eve?” That is so true, and it makes me WANT to treat each year like New Year’s Eve! Let’s do it 🙂 Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post and great perspective on reaching goals. I too thought about New Years resolutions as something I absolutely had to achieve or else I had failed. I’ve since learned that it’s not so much about reaching goals but creating daily habits and looking at each day as a fresh start as you said in your post. Kudos to you 🙂

    Like

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