New year, same story


The time has come again for every store to move their workout equipment to the front for all those who are suddenly devoted to getting in shape. For diet programs to shell out cash to have an ad on every commercial break possible. For doctors, dentists and even insurance companies to use the new year as an excuse to promote themselves and exploit all the people who make promises to themselves they know they won’t keep. But with all this, we must ask ourselves, why is the change of two numbers – in this case 13 to 14 – the reason for impromptu desires to change something about ourselves or our lives?

If you think about it, the only reason a calendar year is 365 days is because that is the amount of time it takes for the earth to completely revolve around the sun. So why does everyone feel the need to reinvent themselves at this mark? Unless you believe in supernatural forces, there is really nothing that provides a reason for this. It is only in our perception that a block in our lives is starting once again.

However, I must admit I am no different than the majority as I make resolutions myself. They are usually generic, relating to my health, education, or well-being. I think the reason we all do this is simply tradition. We have done it for so long, some our whole lives, and it provides a reason for us to better ourselves. If we are given a chance to start over, mentally if not physically, then why not take it? The new year is a great excuse to change something about ourselves, and this is the mindset that many of us have.

Which brings us to another point – why do so many of us give up on these resolutions so quickly? Why don’t we follow through the entire year? If we actually did, then maybe we would not need to make more resolutions at the end of the 365 days. We would already be close to perfect. If I actually followed through on every promise I made to myself on Jan.1, I would be astonished. But perhaps it is human nature to relapse on our old ways, and without our imperfections, what would there be to look forward to? Maybe it just brings us back to the same point; why is this one mark the reason for sudden discontentment and a longing for change?

New year resolutions should not be the only time we choose to make strides. We can pick back up and start again in February, June, September or even December. A man named Carl Bard once said, “Although no one can go back and make a new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

So, maybe we will continue to make these resolutions, just because society encourages us to. Or perhaps these resolutions are beacons of hope we keep swimming towards. Though there may be times when a tidal wave pushes us further away from our goals like when we have a bad day or make poor choices, it is up to us to stick to our declarations and do everything in our power to set our goals, regardless of firecrackers and celebrations. When the clock strikes midnight, we all desire a fresh start. Maybe all we can really ever do is hope to be our best selves, either accompanied with a new year’s resolution or braving it alone.