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Do We Really Need New Year Resolutions?

January 03, 2019 2 Comments

Do We Really Need New Year Resolutions?

The start of a New Year comes with hopes, expectations, and New Year's resolutions. I have hopes and expectations, but I’m trying to decide if resolutions inspire me or make me feel bad about what I haven’t accomplished.

There is no question that anticipating something new and planning for it is exciting, and a new year allows for a fresh start. But as I was watching the final Sunday Morning show of 2018, I marveled as they went through all the people who had passed away. Did they live their lives aware that their last day was their last? Listening to the names made me think about how important it is to make every day count.  

If this is my last year, what do I want it to look like? How would my day change if I thought it was the last one? Would I be more relaxed, more aggressive, proactive, happier?

These are good questions. They are not original but they are the questions I should be asking myself whether I have just one or many more years to come.

Who wants to think that this day might be the last and therefore what I do with it really matters? Is thinking about each day this way empowering or just so scary that it’s debilitating? I don’t know the answer, but if I look at my past, my guess is that I delude myself into thinking each day is just one of many, so if today isn’t perfect, there will be another one tomorrow. So far I’ve guessed correctly, but it is only a guess.

What is it about that list of people who have left us over the last twelve months that touches me each year? Is it curiosity, similar to slowing down to see the accident on the other side of the highway and being grateful I’m not a part of it? Or am I inspired by their creative contribution and I use that to motivate me for the next year? I choose the latter!

If I am the one orchestrating my life, and I am, I want to be the one deciding what creative direction it goes in and hopefully how it turns out.

Creating goals and New Year’s resolutions seems to be an essential part of creating a direction for the life I want and the one I want to leave behind.

Upon contemplation, I realize there are two essential ingredients that my goals must include to make certain that each day I have will make me happy and excited to know it’s the life I’m choosing:

  1. I have to find meaning in what I do every day.
  2. I need to stay hopeful and know that I am headed in the direction of meaning that I intend. I am not enlightened enough to just live in the present.

For years I have written my observations and thoughts in notebooks. Whether they were memories or creative doodles, the recording has always been a part of my day-to-day life. I write about moments that are unexpected—moments that were not as I’d planned or even hoped for, yet, they are the moments that make my days feel special. They are the stories I’ve told myself over and over until I finally wrote them down to get them out of my head.

Recently I understood that those everyday moments are the magic that makes my life so special—that give it meaning. So I started including them as part of my weekly blog post.

While I was writing the stories, I realized that I was slowly writing the book that goes with the title I’ve had for years: It Was Only a Glimpse but It Changed My Life.

Writing a book of everyday moments that have changed my life is not my only goal but it is the goal that allows me to look at every day with anticipation knowing something special and unexpected is hiding within its 24 hours. That is exciting and makes me smile. If this is my last year and I join the list of people who passed on in 2019, I’ll be okay with that—I think.

2 Responses


January 11, 2019

Your interesting article has given me food for thought and has sparked some interesting discussions with my daughter. She maintains your sentiment – that you think you would be ok if today/this year were your last — versus my and others’ sentiments that we only want to focus on life/hope/optimism/more/more – can BOTH be true. They are not incompatible but a way to live each day. Thank you. :)

Lynn Thompson
Lynn Thompson

January 08, 2019

Well written observations and food for thought. Thank you.

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