It's a new year. Time to reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly of the year we are leaving behind. And if the previous year brought more bad and ugly than good, chances are you are looking forward to throwing out your old calendar.
The beauty of a New Year is that it brings with it the opportunity to start anew. We hope to learn from our mistakes and try not to regret. We strive for better, perhaps healthier days ahead. We wish for ourselves, and everyone else, a Happy New Year.
In our quest to make the New Year a happier one many of us make resolutions. I've been known to make them. On occasion, I've been known to keep them. More often than not, after a few months or so, I've quietly forgotten them.
I know I am not alone. If you work out regularly at the gym, you know that the first three months of the year your gym is packed with folks who made the most common New Year's resolution - to lose weight. I think gym owners count on this because they'd never be equipped to handle the volume if all members showed up at their facilities regularly.
The weight-loss pledge has always been at the top of my list each year. It usually comes after binging on Christmas cookies, and the resulting tightness in my clothing. This year losing weight is once again a priority. It's funny, though, how it was also at the top of my list when I was a size six. Today I would kill to fit into a size six. I suppose it's all relative. Regardless, I need to lose some serious weight and have set my goal at 25 pounds. I know how to do it; I did it twice after having kids. Problem is - I hate dieting. And I love wine.
As resolutions go, apparently one of my others for 2011 is fairly common: I've decided I need to de-clutter and organize. I know this is common because several top ten lists and the January sales' circulars have told me so. I also know this is kind of boring; but organizing my house will mean organizing my life. And that's a good thing.
My final resolution for this year involves my kids. I plan to formalize a chore chart and enforce a daily regimen of tasks. Kids have it too easy these days, and they get away with too much. I've decided that mine need more responsibility and structure. And I am happy to oblige.
I polled some of my friends to see if they were making any resolutions for the New Year. One friend responded with a generic resolution to "cull activities that do not add to the quality of my life and that of my family." Another said she vowed to make herself healthy both physically and mentally. One friend resolved to improve her physique and finances. Only one friend promised not to change a thing. Good for her.
One of my favorite songwriters, Jamie Cullum, wrote a song about resolutions. In a song entitled "Next Year Baby," Cullum croons about his New Year's pledges to call his "Gran" every Sunday, read more books, drink less beer, and pay his bills on time. Meanwhile, he acknowledges that he will probably not do any of these things, as resolutions- well they come and go. And he is content to leave them for next year.
Without a doubt contentment with the status quo is easier than resolving to change. I suppose with resolutions we must be realistic in or quests to be better, healthier, and happier; and remember that sometimes life gets in the way. But starting fresh and making improvements is never a bad thing.