The first of the year. New Year’s Day. It is January 1 on the Gregorian calendar. In European culture it is a day to celebrate and its history runs back through old Rome.
Today it is a day to celebrate, make some top ten lists, look over the past year and decide on a few strategic resolutions. Celebrations are always a good thing. Always. Top ten lists are a vital way for people to communicate today. It’s a wonderfully concise way to transfer tidbits of knowledge from one hungry mind to another.
And finally the review of the past year, made all that much easier by those ever present top ten lists. We review what our favorite celebrities have been doing, who has had affairs, whose sex tapes were made public and who is jousting with the divorce demon. We might even take a minute to note which pedophiles have passed from life into sainthood.
Most of all we try to look into our own lives and determine our deficiencies. Things like smoking, over eating or general sloth. And to combat these deadly sins we make resolutions. Fine, noble, upstanding, outstanding resolutions. We take a look at our lives, our society and our influences and decide how we might improve ourselves.
The most common ways to improve ourselves and the most common resolutions seem to be to quit smoking, get out of debt, quit procrastinating, eat better and drink less. Laudable goals all but I’m not sure how successful most people are with them. I saw one study that said only 12% of people are able to keep their resolutions.
Rather than making resolutions it may be time to find an alternative. Look back on the past year and see if there might have been something that could have been learned. A message from daily life which could have enlightened tomorrow. Take that lesson, examine it, learn from it and move on to the next one. And maybe the second lesson will be not to limit it to a yearly exercise.