“Making resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and, ultimately reinforces humility. Breaking them is part of that cycle.”
While the words of Eric Zorn, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, are humorous, the unfortunate truth is that, for many of us, this is quite accurate. The New Year brings with it ambitious ideas and feelings of hope. However, it is well known that by mid-February this hopeful spirit has unfortunately all but diminished for the majority of us. Why is it that it is only during the New Year that we strive for the more difficult, yet more fulfilling goals in our lives? Why is it that we are confident in ourselves for a month at most and then go back to believing that we are incapable or that our goals are unattainable?
My family, as well as many others I am sure, counts down the minutes until the New Year. While this is a beautiful tradition, and I love to do it, I can not help but wonder how life would be if we saw each new day of the year as we do January first. What if we began to cherish each day and look forward to each tomorrow? What if each day was not just another date but an opportunity to improve?
I love Ralph Waldo Emerson’s insight to this: “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.” Each day truly is just as valuable as the last, no matter the date on the calendar. Each day provides new opportunities to change, to improve, and to be grateful. I love the New Year and all that it represents. Creating resolutions for the New Year and counting down to the New Year are beautiful traditions that are made special by their uniqueness; however, I believe that the excitement and beauty of a year should not be limited to January first. Instead, each day should be seen as a fresh start. Each sunrise reveals a clean slate, and each sunset draws the curtain on another day.
A New Year signifies a new start or a new beginning. We view the New Year as a chance to start over, to let go of the old things and reach for new things; to leave behind the old self and strive for the new self. But why can we not do this any other day of the year? Why does January first supply more opportunities for change than July or September?
“I think in terms of the days’ resolutions, not the years’” Henry Moore. We should allow each day to be an opportunity to change and improve, and we should see each moment as something to cherish. If we went throughout the entire year with the same mentality that we do on New Years, in another 365 days, we would reflect on the previous year and see much more progress. We would be able to look back with contentment and satisfaction rather than regret.