New Year’s What?

MP900405396There’s something to love about a new calendar, almost like getting a new box of crayons before the school year starts. The younger you are, those days might crawl by, especially January through May. Then during June through August they’ll flash like lightning. The older you are, those days just keep flashing and flashing and…

Something about a new calendar has prompted people—for thousands of years—to resolve to carry out certain actions. The Babylonians resolved at the beginning of their new year to return borrowed farming equipment, since the new year coincided with the start of their growing season. I’ve read that historically, the Chinese culture observed the new year with cleaning house and starting the new year fresh. My husband would like that one.

Then there’s our modern Western culture. An early 20th century New Year’s resolution postcard reads, “Your New Year’s Resolution: Resolve to renew all your old resolves, and add a few that are new. Resolve to keep them as long as you can. What more can a poor man do?” I can’t imagine renewing all my old ones, plus adding more, and then trying to keep them longer than January 2nd. Statistics show that less than half of us make resolutions, and a little less than half of those people keep them more than six months.

I wonder how many people have already given up on those New Year’s resolutions. We want to break a bad habit, or make new ones. Read more (who doesn’t want to do that?). Exercise. Start being on time. Eat better. Save money. However, I think the reason we drop those resolutions is that we don’t realize how hard it is to create a new habit and stick with it. I’ve heard the 21 days theory of creating a new habit. Well, it takes a LOT longer than 21 days for me, and I can still break a resolution.

There’s a neat little song called “New Year’s Day,” and it talks about making a list of all the things we plan to change…until January 2nd. It goes on to say, instead of trying to change a whole bunch of things, to make just one resolution: Every day is New Year’s day.
I kind of like that. If each day is another gift, then it’s definitely New Year’s each morning. The song also says another chance to change, another chance to grab grace and never let it go. We always have a chance to work on that diet, form that new habit, break the old one. This year in 2013, if you make one resolution, why not resolve that every day is New Year’s day?

 

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Lynette Sowell writes fiction for the inspirational market, from contemporary romance to mysteries. She’s always looking for the perfect recipe for a story–or a great dish–and is always up for a Texas road trip.

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