A time to resolve?

Pic by Krissy Mayhew

New Year’s resolutions. Make them, break them or forsake them, chances are most will give some a certain amount of reflective time and attention to the year passed and the new one in.

After a busy year, this broadly collective time-out period of the calendar usually elicits some self-assessment.

What to do with it?

Statistics generally show that most of all those who make New Year’s resolutions break them by mid-year.

Should or does this dissuade people from making resolutions? Do the efforts made, even if the goal is busted, not account for some progress?

There is plenty of advice suggesting that people should carefully plan their resolutions, not create unattainable pursuits and not be too hard on themselves if they experience a setback or failure.

New Year’s resolutions find their origins in ancient Babylonian times, whereby they were made to repay an outstanding debt – ie, return a borrowed farm implement to have a clean slate in the New Year.

In today’s Western culture, the top ten New Year’s resolutions are personal endeavours ostensibly based on improving health, lifestyle and care. But when the rigmarole of daily life begins to take its repetitive toll, much of these get broken – giving way to expedience, familiarity and habit.

When confronted with the reality of having made a permanently life changing decision, the importance of the initial motivation can pale in comparison. Goodbye New Year’s resolution – until next year maybe.

Maybe the Babylonian rationale should be readopted with New Year’s resolutions; resolving with the past to start the New Year afresh. No lengthy expectations on one’s self to stick to something that one is more than likely to want to change in time – those issues do take time, effort and often a multi-pronged strategy to achieve.

Surely it is more achievable and satisfying to return something owed than to attempt to radically reform a big aspect of your life overnight for the sake of a calendar date?

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