Each New Year is fraught with guilt. We feel guilty if we don’t make resolutions. We feel guilty if we make resolutions and don’t uphold them. We feel guilty as we watch TV shows giving us helpful hints on how to make our resolutions stick even as we know we’ve already broken the ones we made at the stroke of midnight. So why do it? Why do we make resolutions?
We make resolutions to better ourselves. The New Year gives us an opportunity to become introspective, to examine ourselves, to reflect on us. We look inward. What can we do in this brand new year to improve? Most of us want to be the very best that we can be. We want to be able to look in the mirror, smile, and think I like that person.
New years give us that time to fine-tune that person staring back at us. So we look at that reflection and decide to lose weight, to stop smoking, to quit drinking, to cease biting our nails. Too often we quickly realize how difficult it is to maintain those goals, and we readjust and amend. Two weeks into January and our resolutions might sound like lose a little weight, smoke less, drink only beer, and don’t bite cuticles. A little later we laugh at our resolutions, quit altogether for the year, and once again guilt creeps in.
So did it do any good? Making a New Year’s resolution? Why do we even bother? Yes, it was good! In a hectic world with events, people, and days racing by us, we took the time — the valuable time — to reflect. We made a big deal of introspection. We may not have met our goals, but we looked honestly and clearly at ourselves.
But what if we changed our thinking? What if instead of a once a year self-examination and a major new year’s resolution, what if we spent just a couple of minutes each day and made a new day’s resolution? What if we simply thought, “What can I do to be a better person today?” Isn’t that what we want? to be better today than yesterday, to be better tomorrow than today? Each day would be new, a renewed chance to be better, maybe kinder, maybe less sharp, maybe more healthy … just better; a new year every new day.
So this year, let’s wish each other not just a happy new year; let’s wish each other a Happy New Day!
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