Saturday, December 19, 2015

Why I Am Making a New Year's Resolution...And You Should, Too!

When this time of year rolls around, much discussion is made regarding New Year's resolutions.  I can remember two different teachers who made that our journal topic upon returning to school after Christmas break.  The problem back then was: I was convinced that I was just fine the way I was, and that I didn't need to make any changes.  So, the first time, I told my teacher that I wasn't making any resolutions, and she said, "Then, make some up!", which I proceeded to do; I actually made some good ones--for example, "I resolve to be nicer to my cat"--but I had no intent on following through...because they were just made up.  The second time, I spent my required fifteen lines explaining why I wasn't going to make any resolutions, even alluding to what a cynical columnist had recently written on the same topic in the Daily Press.

That was a long time ago, and I have done much thinking about my ways since then, which has caused me to realize how wrong I have been about nearly everything pretty much my entire life.  While a lot of it may be due to my "condition," the sinful nature is something that is present in all of us.  Unfortunately, though, it seems that many people have the same mentality I used to; when talking about New Year's resolutions with someone a couple of years ago, he told me that he didn't make any because, to quote him, "I don't want to make promises I know I'm not going to keep." To me, that just sounds like a bad attitude, and it reminds me of the infamous saying attributed to Henry Ford: "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." Still, it seems like nobody makes them anymore...which is just sad.  Seriously, you can make a change for the better if you just put your mind to it; I'm living proof of that!

I said a week or two ago on Facebook that my resolution for 2016 was to do away with the excess in all areas: eating, consumption of entertainment, spending of money, library checkouts, etc.  I actually came up with a set of rules, though I'm still working on them; they won't become official until 2016.  After the New Year starts, I won't modify them unless absolutely necessary.  I also won't be posting them on Facebook; so far, my mom is the only other one who has seen them, and she only saw an early draft, though I will show her the finished rules soon.  While I don't know what your home life is like, I'm sure you probably have some changes you need to make in your lifestyle; you're human just like the rest of us.  If you have trouble assessing your own ways, ask someone whom you live with, or see or talk to pretty much every day; they'll tell you what you should do.

Change is hard; it's true.  People are creatures of habit, which makes it difficult for us to change our ways.  Still, as Frederick Douglass once said, "If there is no struggle, there is no progress."  I would suggest not biting off more than you can chew when making a resolution; the aforementioned Daily Press column described how the writer would go to the Noland Trail and watch as all those who vowed to run a mile or two every day would sweat it out on January 1st...only to come back a few months later and see that most of them had called it quits.  Of course if you go from being a non-runner to trying a strenuous athletic feat every single day, it'll be too tough; I may not know much about physical health, but one thing I do know is that you have to work your way up to it.  That's why I'm preparing for next year's resolution right now: I can see what works, what doesn't, and how it will affect me in the near future.

In conclusion, I will say this: While I want to be happy--and who doesn't?--one thing I don't want to be is complacent; I know that I'm not fine the way I am...because nobody is.  Motivational speaker and author Andy Andrews once decried the common belief that good friends accept you just the way you are; in his live performance of The Seven Decisions, he said, "Good friends challenge you to be better." Far too many people are complacent, because the culture tells us: "It's okay; you're just fine the way you are, no matter what you do." That's not true, though; I actually detest that mentality.  My hope is that my friends will challenge me to be better and do the right thing, always; isn't that what God would want all of us to do?

Any comments?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's a good mentality to have. There are numerous expressions, such as "Adapt or Die" "Life is a Journey" etc., and I think people should always strive to better themselves. The tricky part is, as you say, change is hard and most people do give up and fall into the old "I'm just fine the way I am" trap. A friend of mine who runs a physical fitness company recently posted that it's very hard for her to eat right and exercise daily, but she remembers how hard it was on her before she started trying to change for the better, and she chooses daily to undergo the hardship of change for the better. She had a choice of which hardship to accept, and she chose the hardship that results in improvement. I try to remember that when I make choices. Great post!