A young friend of mine, Jillian, wrote something rather profound on her Facebook page last night. She wrote, “Its funny, I’ve never understood how a new year suddenly makes you a new person.” Her post got me thinking…I suppose a great way to start out the new year. Why do we think January 1st is a do-over? Why do so many of us hold onto January 1st to start or quit something? Why do we wait until this day to make resolutions intended for betterment or change? Is it all in the hopes in becoming a new and improved person?
My husband never makes resolution. He feels change or beginnings can happen any time. I know he’s right and darn him, so profoundly right, yet it never stopped me for calling January 1st my day to start again. I have been successful in keeping my New Year’s resolutions…well, some of them. Five New Year’s Eves ago, I quit smoking. Yes, I have cheated here and there, but for all practical purposes, I have quit. A few years ago, I resolved to read more and that year, I think I read up to twenty books. That was a successful one. I lost 16 pounds in the beginning of last year after declaring that as my New Year’s resolution….only to find them and then some the months after. But hey, I did hold steadfast for a while. I have had successful resolutions like getting a tattoo, finish writing my novel, reconnecting with old friends and starting to be organized. Okay, the key to the last one is STARTING. I can’t say I finished.
My point is I look to January 1st as a declaration to a new beginning or a day to start my self-improvements. Like my husband points out, both can happen at any time during the year. For me though, I need a date for my proclamations of improvement or change. Why? I think part of it is my obsession with schedules. Ask my family. I’ve never been a go-with-the-flow type person. Perhaps that will be a future resolution for me. For now, I have to deal with this every-thing-has-a-time personality and New Year’s resolutions fit in nicely. My resolutions this year are to loose those pounds again — and keep them loss — AND to live my dream. The last one I am so serious about because, as I read at the end of 2011, if I don’t, my dream will die with me. And who wants that? Not me. I’m hoping, by stating my resolutions publicly, I have no choice but to fulfill them.
So, as response to my friend Jillian’s post questioning why a new year suddenly makes a new person, I wrote, “It doesn’t, but the hopes to start over in a new year can make you one.” And I believe that because I do believe hope changes us all.
Happy New Year. Here’s hoping great change and improvements in 2012.