A few years ago, I swore I was done with resolutions, that I was only setting goals; it’s five days into 2017 and I feel like I’m walking backwards through the new year.
As last year wound down its final days, almost everyone I know came together to agree on the idea that the beginning of a new year has no significance.
While everyone else was stocking up on blessings like fireworks and alcohol, and executing domestic animals for meat, my friends were ignoring God’s gifts to tell me and anyone unlucky enough to listen why we should just go to bed on the 31st and wake up on the 1st of January like people with nothing to be happy about.
The thing about listening to bad advice is that while you snicker, sneer and roll your eyes at it, the words slowly eat away at your belief and convictions like Pacman.
So when December 31st came and I noticed I was still living like a bum with no plans or decisions for the coming year, I knew I had successfully set myself up.
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Not many people have a high opinion of new year's resolutions, and it’s partly because, by the second week of January, most have forgotten what they planned to do.
There’s a chance that they make more sense than we think, every person probably has one trait or habit that they want to get rid of in the new year; resolutions are how we consciously decide to effect that change and keep track of how well we’re doing.
The problem is that we tend to put every decision, agreement, plan and strategy that occurs to us at the end of December under the same canopy, and eventually, there’s always too much to keep up with.
The alternative is simple, decide on one or two big changes that you’re sure you will remember and stick by them like Sam to Frodo.
If you don’t understand that last line, its because you haven’t seen Lord of the Rings. I have no words for your kind.
After managing to get rid of my friends’ whispers this week, I’m still in the process of making my resolutions - and I’m discovering that they’re much harder than you’ll be inclined to think.
Admittedly, some of us have more flaws than any human should, and it’s a fight to decide which of them we need to get rid of and which we’d like to keep, like how I tend to eat fish anywhere I see it.
The most important thing at the end of it all is progress.
But how much progress do you make if you don’t make your resolutions early enough?
A fundamental problem with making plans or resolutions for the new year is the way we see new years, as the beginning of entirely new phases.
It’s almost as if while we sit in church and thank heaven for being alive, God is getting ready to hit the reset button on everything we’ve done in the past year.
I hate to burst your bubble but it doesn’t exactly work like that.
A new year is a new batch of 365 days, and that’s all. The sun doesn’t rise at 4.28 pm on January 1st and there’s no fairy swimming in the air waiting to bless all the resolutions made on that day.
The idea behind resolutions is to do particular things differently for a period with the intention that it will reflect in the quality of a person’s life, career, relationships or whatever.
And by that very nature, it’s never too late to make a new year’s resolution.
Allow me to quote a proverb you’ve heard before; change is the only constant thing in life.
Realising that you should get rid of certain habits, things or even people in your life is not unique to the end of the year, it can happen at any time, and if you feel the need to make a decision, then you can, whenever you wish.
You may not notice it at first, but that’s your resolution right there.
Regardless of what we call them or when we make them, the singular intention is to help us become better people.
And that’s all that really matters.