It’s a new year! It seems like everything you read in the month of January is about starting the New Year off right with plenty of New Year’s resolutions. There are articles and advice on keeping New Year’s resolutions, setting new goals, new beginnings, New Year outlooks, and future trends. I get it, the New Year is a landmark for time, and it helps us hit the reset button, remember past dreams, and construct new paths, but it can be dangerous to put too much emphasis on the New Year Resolution. The danger is known by anyone who has ever made a New Year’s resolution. January seems full of such power, we are filled with hopes and dreams, but by February, with the holidays long gone, life has kicked back into high gear. All feelings of new beginnings are replaced by unexpected events, everyday life, and the grind of trying to balance work, family, and our, now lost, resolve to meet any kind of resolution. Practicality quickly gives way to any thoughts we had in January of change or meeting new goals.
There are a lot of theories as on how to keep New Year’s resolutions, but most of the advice is more complicated and time-consuming than simply sticking with the resolution itself. If you don’t have time for your New Year’s resolution then you certainly don’t have time for accountability groups, daily journals, progress reports, or any of the other grandiose ideas. The real trick to meeting and beating a New Year’s resolution is to simply not make one. What’s really the point anyway, all New Year’s resolutions do is set us up for failure and disappointment. We make brash goals for ourselves without realizing the consequences and then beat ourselves up for the next 11 months for failing.
The trick (and yes there really is a trick to New Years Resolutions) is to treat each day with as much respect as we give to January 1st. Every day is a new day, with opportunity to continue to meet our goals, set new ones, and even dream a little bit. Trying to put the weight of all our goals and dreams onto one day is going to cause a collapse. Each day is a new chance for us to continue down our path, and just because we did not get anywhere yesterday does not mean that today is also wasted. During the course of the year mistakes will be made, wrong turns will be taken, and sometimes ground will be lost, but don’t wait until 2013 to get back off the ground when you fall. Yearly resolutions can easily be forgotten, ignored, or excused away. Instead, make daily resolutions to be the best person you can. Recharge yourself every morning with hopes of new beginnings and goals met. Progress is forged step by step, one hour, and one day at a time. Ultimately trying to fulfill annual resolutions is impossible, you can’t control what will happen tomorrow or the next day, but you do wield the authority to create change today. This year let’s all make our resolution to live every day as if it were the new beginning to the rest of our life.