I love making resolutions for the New Year. I usually have about 50 of them. They make me feel all virtuous and hopeful and as if I can really change and become a fundamentally better person starting on January 1st. Of course, most of my good resolutions usually fall apart within weeks. Or days. Or hours, it really depends. And then I am stuck being my usual old self (except a year older) for another year, until it is resolution-making time again.
Now, there are several ways around this problem.
First of all, 1 January is not the only New Year. New Years are practically coming around every month. For instance, there is Chinese New Year in late January or early February, Nowruz in March, Cambodian New Year in April. Later on in the year there is Rosh Hashanah in September and Islamic New Year in October or November. (Interestingly, nobody seems to want to start a year between May and August. What would be the point if you can’t have oysters?). So, there is plenty of opportunity for the making of shiny new resolutions.
And there is more. If we subscribe to the notion that a Human Year is about seven Dog Years, then we can celebrate the coming of a New Year and decide to better ourselves every 52 days. Of course, we could also just use the start of a new school year, a new semester, a new month or even a new week for new resolutions. (This is not completely absurd. I remember having read somewhere that there are more people in gyms on Mondays than later in the week.)
Or we could try solution number 2: Just make new resolutions whenever you feel like it. If I look at the few good habits I have acquired over the years and the bad habits I have abandoned, I realise that none of these changes ever took place at the beginning of a year. One reason for that is that many changes for the better happen over time. It is often thought that revolutions are a sudden thing, but turning something around in your life can be a matter of small movements over a long amount of time. The other reason is that if the need for change is bad enough, you don’t usually wait until the next milestone in the calendar comes around. You just change.
Am I making resolutions for the New Year? Of course I am. I think it’s important to take stock of your life and think about what might need changing, developing and reshaping. But I will not stop here. Over the whole year I will continue to make resolutions, break resolutions, make new ones, and maybe, now and then, succeed.
Happy New Year everybody!