New Year Resolutions . . .
The New Year is at the gate, the clock is ticking loud and clear
I’ll need to hurry if I’m to keep the resolutions I made last year! Anonymous
I thought of this couplet on the eve of 2020 and wondered where the whole idea of New Year resolutions came from. It seems we can blame—that is—credit the Babylonians with the idea of assessing the past and committing to improve in the new year by making resolutions. It caught on, obviously, and has continued to this day.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve oneself; I’ve tried it many times. In fact, the top three resolutions in America fit well into my list for 2020 just as they have for several new years in the past: to spend more time with family and friends, to lose weight and to get fit. I’ve observed, however, that most of the time spent with family and friends is centered around food. Thus, the most exercise achieved is the walk to the table and the elbow bend to the mouth. A little counter-productive to be sure—while striving to fulfill the first resolution, I jeopardize the other two!
Some slackers might say “you can’t break what you don’t make.” But for those who regard this earth as a garden in which we live, turning over a new leaf couldn’t hurt. The problem is that producing new leaves takes time. In a culture that has grown to demand instant gratification, resolutions requiring patience and commitment are thrown aside. Texting, Instagram and Facebook have replaced one-on-one contacts. Quick weight-loss and fitness programs are the rage. We want results and we want them now!
Perhaps the wisest approach to making resolutions is to choose ones to keep in smaller time frames, like in a day or an hour, rather than taking on a whole year. Success comes in small steps that lead to the long run.
So, what about my resolutions for this New Year? I carefully considered what, if any, I could make—to keep them from going in one year and out the other. Results are pending.