New Year resolutions and being resolute

Published 9:02 am Monday, December 31, 2018

As we take the old calendar now and put a new one in its place, it is a reminder that the curtain has closed on another year and we have new opportunities and new challenges before us.
The new year presents us with the chance not just to experience new things, but also to achieve great things, to accomplish the things that didn’t get quite done last year.
So here we are. Basking in the opportunity of another new year. Let’s rush into the new year with enthusiasm and confidence. Let us head into the new year believing we can make it a great year. And above all, let’s head into it with a plan.
The new year begins as an empty slate with nothing but a sense of incalculable possibilities and hope. As Henry Ward Beecher wrote in 1882, “Every man should be born again on the first of January.”
Most people these days seem to eschew New Year’s resolutions, having found them either impossible to keep or a trivial idea in the first place. Aren’t we always trying to do better?
There’s something about the new year that can be inspirational. It’s the quintessential time to make necessary and beneficial changes. A new calendar can be just as powerful a motivating force as a new job, a new relationship, a new home.
The concept of resolutions is a good one. Used well, they can provide the focus needed to make goals happen.
Great things, after all, seldom just happen. They’re a product of vision, strategy and hard work.
Some make lists. Author Neil Gaiman’s simple new year’s suggestion is: “Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, do it.”
How many people who quit smoking, after all, were successful the first time they tried? How many people who’ve lost weight were successful on the first diet?
If a goal is worth reaching, it’s worth relentless effort. Perseverance is key. Little in life is accomplished without it.
So rather than abandon New Year’s resolutions, make the one: “I will keep my New Year’s resolutions.”
And make the second: “I will not allow myself to become discouraged.”
Let’s start writing. And start keeping. And start making a great year. And maybe even start making a new us.
Commitment counts. Let’s remind ourselves frequently of what we hope to achieve. And pursue it urgently.
It can also be a good time to break with harmful patterns of the past; to release grudges and forgive; to say “Enough of that” and move on.
For as the missionary Amy Carmichael observed, “We have all of eternity to celebrate the victories, but only a few short hours before sunset to win them.”
Happy New Year to each and every one of our readers.

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