I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. I’ve made plenty of them, but never seem to be able to keep them. My resolutions have included losing weight, yelling at my kids less, and learning all the countries in Africa. But to be honest, I weigh more now than when I first made that resolution, my kids would tell you I still yell plenty, and I’m unsure of the exact location of several African countries.
I understand the appeal, and maybe for some, the necessity of making New Year’s resolutions. We are, in a sense, at the beginning. A fresh start. A blank slate. Could there be a better time to cast aside bad habits, embrace new habits, or learn something new?
The New Year is a great time to move forward with the changes we want to make in our lives; big changes, small changes and everything in between. But I think the reason for my failure to keep my resolutions is because to resolve to do something for an entire year is too long. To tell myself “this year I’m going to (fill in the blank)” practically gives me permission to put it off until December. As a pretty serious procrastinator, for me a year-long resolution is biting off more than I can chew.
So this year I’m going to try something different. Instead of making one grand New Year’s resolution, I’m going to make small, but significant, “one day resolutions” throughout the entire year. When I wake up in the morning I will resolve to do something just for that day. I will resolve to eat more vegetables or take time for devotions or take my dog for a long walk for that day. And just maybe when I see how wonderful it feels to follow through on that one day resolution, I will resolve to do it again the next day, and maybe even the next?
It boils down to the old adage “one day at a time.” A whole year is such a long time. One day feels so much more doable. New Year’s resolutions have loads of potential; they can be fun and they can be life changing. But if you’re like me and those resolutions kind of fizzle, don’t give up. The New Year is not the only good time to start fresh. Yes, there is something amazing about making a trip all the way around the sun. But that daily 24-hour spin we take is pretty cool too. Each new day, each sunrise, puts us at a beginning. Could there be a better time to cast aside bad habits, embrace new habits, or learn something new?
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
• Corson is a member of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church.