On New Year’s Resolutions

It’s a new year.  With that comes a time for people to look forward to the future as well as make commitments toward a better future.  New Year’s represents hope, a fresh start, something most people want because all of us have made mistakes.  Mistakes are what make us human after all, and some mistakes repeat themselves in our lives despite us not liking them.  However, it is common knowledge that resolutions often go unfulfilled, people continue in their habits, and little if anything changes.

Change is hard, even if we don’t like something in our lives, we are creatures of habit, and it is easier to fall back into the old routine and deal with the guilt than persevere.  Due to neuro elasticity people can change but once we reach adulthood change is hard and feels like it continues to get harder as we get older.

There is something I’ve observed in myself and others, people do not really change unless they are discontent in their current position.  Sometimes guilt alone isn’t enough to move someone to true discontentment with his/her life choices.  That is when a major wake-up call is needed.  However, those don’t always come.  So, what are we to do?  Well, the words are easy to type, and sound rather stupid, but they are quite another to put into practice.  We need to truly commit, especially if it’s an important change such as sobriety, and that involves having someone else help us along the way.

Something important I’ve learned in my quest to be a better man is that I have to acknowledge that perfection isn’t possible.  I’m on a journey which means I will fail from time to time.  The acknowledgement of failure doesn’t excuse it, but I’m someone who holds myself and the people close to me to a high moral standard.  If I mess up, I tend to beat myself up, which oddly has the opposite effect than desired.  I’m guessing many people fail at their goals because they mess up and figure they cannot do it.  Failure will happen and happen more often than you would like.  That’s okay, because progress to anything worthwhile is slow and takes time.

So dear reader, I challenge you to not flippantly make a New Year’s Resolution because it’s a cultural phenomenon, but to commit to be a better person no matter what.  Have someone there along the way to help you when you are weak for failure will happen.

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