On Resolutions

New Year’s Eve is here, and with it resolution season has officially opened. I have mixed feelings about resolutions. Using the symbolism of the new year to “start fresh” and make positive changes provides a psychological boost, I suppose. However, the most common resolutions are trite and obviously didn’t stick last year or the year before.  The gigantic advertising budget of diet companies this time of year is a clue. I won’t even go to the gym until mid-February, when most of the resolution defaulters stop clogging the ellipticals. Do I sound cynical? I hope not. I believe resolving to change for the good is necessary, and something we should do all year long–  not in one big burst when December turns to January. It also seems that a really effective resolution to change for the better must involve more than the self. The perennially popular weight-loss resolution seems hollow. Once one is wearing smaller clothes, what then? Does exterior shrinking lead to interior growth? Let’s be healthy, yes, but let’s look to something bigger for our once-a-year resolutions. How can we effect relationships with family, friends, and the world at large in a positive way? For my part, I resolve to be more gentle in my interactions. Will I be a resolution defaulter? I hope not. But striving for gentleness leads to hurting others less– and that, I believe, is worthy of a New Year’s resolution. Happy New Year to one and all, and may all of our resolutions be realized.

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