January 2, 2018
What’s Your Resolution?
A search on Thesaurus.com turns up 43 words as synonyms for the word ‘resolution.’ Some of those included are: ‘aim’ ‘dedication’ ‘fortitude’ ‘heart’ ‘mettle’ ‘moxie’ and ‘perseverance.’
During the first week of January this year, 41 percent of American’s will make at least one New Year’s resolution and 44 percent of the resolutions are related to self-improvement. In order to succeed in the fulfillment of their goals it usually requires dedication, fortitude, and perseverance.
I rather like that we have a specific date each year when the psychological odometer turns over. Some people will commit their plans to paper (or electronic paper!) while others will simply make a mental note as to what it is they wish to improve or achieve in the coming 365 days.
Although the first recorded ‘resolutions’ seem to be connected to John Wesley (founded the Methodist Church) and the formation of ‘Watchnight’, people have designated certain dates as the beginning of a new year for thousands of years. From the infallible Wikipedia:
“Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.
The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named.
In the Medieval era, the knights took the ‘peacock vow’ at the end of the Christmas season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry.
At watchnight services, many Christians prepare for the year ahead by praying and making these resolutions.
This tradition has many other religious parallels. During Judaism’s New Year, Rosh Hashanah, through the High Holidays and culminating in Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), one is to reflect upon one’s wrongdoings over the year and both seek and offer forgiveness. People can act similarly during the Christian liturgical season of Lent, although the motive behind this holiday is more of sacrifice than of responsibility. In fact, the Methodist practice of New Year’s resolutions came, in part, from the Lenten sacrifices. The concept, regardless of creed, is to reflect upon self-improvement annually.”
Several years ago, after reading a book which provided a methodology to identify those goals which were the most important, I created a list of things I wanted to achieve. Each year I pull out that list and review it and only one thing remains which I have not accomplished. Who knows which one it is?
Here’s the list:
-Get children successfully launched in life. Success would be if they are self sufficient, self-directed and motivated; they know how to go after those things they want in life.
– Create a program for the Bellevue Rainbow (Girls) which will be the pinnacle of success.
-Write/Publish a book
In looking at the list I realize I should have separated the last goal into two goals. Writing a book – I discovered – was a whole different animal than getting one published. Since I made the list I have completed five 80,000 word (or greater) novels. Each time I write the words ‘The End’ there is a feeling of accomplishment. And yet.
Back to resolutions. Yes, I probably should lose 20 pounds. Yes, I probably should exercise more. Yes, I should write thank you notes more often and either hire a housekeeper or get my lazy one to work harder. But none of those things will be on my list this year. Just one thing is there: publish my novel(s).
So here’s a toast to 2018 as a whole blank slate of a year stretches before us. Whatever your goal may be I wish you the : ‘aim’ ‘dedication’ ‘fortitude’ ‘heart’ ‘mettle’ ‘moxie’ and ‘perseverance’ to achieve it. Happy New Year!
As always, a few links of interest: