New Year’s Resolutions date back to 153 B.C. when the Roman God, Janus– God of Beginnings, was placed on the calendar demarcating the god looking back on the past and ahead to the future.
It has remained a custom to reflect upon the year past in order to create a resolution (or several) for the future, but the fact is only about 12% of resolutions are actually attained.
I do NOT believe in New Year’s resolutions. Everyone building up to THAT day to make a goal that hangs over our heads for the whole year through. We wait and wait and wait– for that ONE moment, that perfect time, that DAY– New Year’s day to be resolute.
It’s like building up a moment or event in your mind which inevitably falls short because you spend too much time fantasizing in your mind how perfect it will be. And isn’t that what we’re doing when we’re projecting the positive change in our lives toward a singular moment? I think New Year’s resolutions set us up for failure.
Waiting for the perfect moment causes us to procrastinate making effective change in our lives every day. Charles Dickens said, “Procrastination is the thief of time.” We should be reflecting all the time– on a moment, or a day, a month or a year, on a belief, reaction, gesture, decision– in order to better ourselves for us and those around us.
I set goals all the time. Sometimes, it’s as simple as this will be a good day. Or, it can be as monumental as a life change. In fact, when I reflect back on the biggest risks I’ve taken in my life, I attribute those as catalysts of my most positive changes. It’s only when I seem to throw caution to the wind, go out on a limb, face a fear– that I’ve grown the most.
For example, about twelve years ago, I decided to return to school for a master’s degree (after much deliberating on where I wanted my life to take me) while working nearly 30 hours a week and raising three small children. Most certainly, it was the busiest time of my life– working classes in and around the other jobs I held, in addition to committing to a graduate teaching assistantship, writing a master’s thesis while keeping up with my course work. I remember being up late at night, until like3 a.m., eyes pealed open, fingers hovering over the keyboard of my computer, the house was hauntingly still and my brain was in overdrive, but I didn’t give up– I willed the thoughts and words onto the page for my next class assignment. When I look back on that time, I have no idea how I accomplished all of that in such little time (much of it is a blur), but I did. And so many positive changes have resulted from that one goal.
I believe in self-talk. I believe we create our realities. So, when we make a decision and affirm not to waver from our goals– our dreams, we open ourselves to positive change.
Henry David Thoreau said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. ”
Ghandi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
If every day we choose at least one thing for which to assign a purpose– a step in achieving a goal (some days a baby step, some days a step so big we think we might not make it), every day will be a day for resolutions.