It’s funny because it’s true. Every year, I want to exercise more and sit less. Every year, I want to drink more water and less cola. Every year, I want to be less judgmental, more understanding. Every year, I want to eat more vegetables and less fast food. Of course, I have some that stick. I only drink water when I eat at a restaurant, for example. I quit smoking six years ago. I stopped using salt several years ago.
I want to use my time better. I want to read more, and watch TV less. I want to turn over a new leaf. I want to make this the first day of the rest of my life. I want to boldly go where no man has gone before—wearing appropriate safety gear, of course, with due planning.
But then the second of January rolls around, and old habits creep back in.
Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? Do you have chronically repeated resolutions, as I do? Do you find that sticking with those resolutions is hard to accomplish?
It’s our nature to want to improve. We recognize the areas where we most need to work. We know ourselves better than others know us. If we need to get more rest, we already know it. If we need to get more exercise, we already know it.
THERE ARE other areas we may not know so well, however. Do we need to make more time for others? If we’re parents, are we giving each child enough one-on-one time? If we’re a boss, are we giving employees a chance to talk to us every once in a while?
Do we need to talk less and listen more? Do we need to pay more attention to the successes of others and less attention to our own reflection in the mirror? Do we need to be nicer to people who serve us, who wait on us? Sometimes we have to reflect on our actions as viewed by those with whom we interact.
I like the idea of New Year’s resolutions. Once a year at the start of the year is a good time to review one’s life and set out goals for behavior modification. As long as we are still trying to change ourselves for the better, we’re still striving to improve as humans.
The fact that most New Year’s resolutions fall by the way is no reason to avoid making them. They may not catch this year, or the next, or even the next. But one year they might. One year you might finally stop smoking. One year you might finally stop drinking. One year you might actually lose 30 pounds. One year you might start walking a mile every day.
The New Year is a time for optimism. It’s a fresh start on a new year, a time to reset and reboot our mind, to redirect our lives as best we can, in small or large ways. If we succeed in making one of our resolutions stick each year, that’s a great deal of improvement in a decade, isn’t it?
© 2011, Jim “Pappy” Moore, All Rights Reserved.
Jim “Pappy” Moore is a native son of East Texas who still makes the piney woods his home. email@example.com