Repost: still true, two years later.
. . .
The case for New Year’s Resolutions is fairly straightforward: the change of the calendar year provides a natural opportunity to stop and reflect on the passage of time and to consider what one would like to accomplish next.
The fact that many others are making similar resolutions, and that our culture encourages us to stop for a day of rest and celebration should only increase a feeling of communal optimism and energy for goal-setting.
Except, of course, for all the jokes about February 1st, and how New Year’s Resolutions are always broken.
The challenge then, is not so much to make a case for New Year’s Resolutions themselves, but to counter the eternal pessimism which declares all attempts at change futile, and all determination ignorant.
And to the eternal nay-sayers, I simply respond “why not?”
Do you think that any of us can really convince ourselves that there are no areas in which we desperately want to improve?
Is it somehow better to sit around on December 31st and smugly contemplate that while I am fat, unhealthy, in debt, isolated, addicted to various substances, stressed out, unemployed, friendless, and have learned nothing in the past year, well at least it is okay because I never tried to improve?
There were many resolutions that I left unresolved a year ago, and I don’t feel the least bit better about my failures due to the fact that I never officially determined to improve.
So for now I have resolved to make New Year’s Resolutions. I may fail, but I may not. In either case, I will celebrate the making, the planning, and the hoping.
- Saint Nicholas
- The End of the Year