Personally, I believe in the power of the New Year—the magic of fresh starts, clean calendars, and high hopes. It’s not that I believe we can all completely erase the past and totally redefine ourselves with the changing of the year. The only transformation the stroke of midnight ever elicited was that of carriage to pumpkin. Fairytale stuff.
But I do believe that, if given the opportunity and the support of our peers and loved ones, we’re all capable of small changes. But even alterations small enough that those around us may not notice, can be powerful enough to change our lives.
Maybe I’m a little biased in my defense of resolutions—or rather, those who make resolutions—because I’m full of them this year. My main goal is to have a socially monotonous year and the time and energy to make small, personal gains.
Last year was full of big, life-changing events. The husband and I became the husband and I; we moved twice; bought a house; took our first, adult vacation; said good-bye to Grandpa; met our nephew; renovated our kitchen, our bathroom, and purchased new windows; started three new jobs between us; got a new vehicle; and logged at least 10,000 highway miles. Last year was utterly and completely exhausting.
So this year, I’m aiming for settled and subtle.
That’s all irrelevant here, however. My point is to defend those who are brave enough to make resolutions from those who feel the need to criticize. The most obvious example I have is all the self-proclaimed gym rats complaining on Facebook about their suddenly over-crowded gym. I understand that it is inconvenient for you to have to choose a different elliptical machine or do your squats before your lunges. But I would argue that your sacrifice is minuscule compared to the other’s gain. And yes, the newbie might not know how to use that machine you probably can’t live without. But instead of rolling your eyes and turning up your iPod, maybe you could help out. Maybe you could offer a tip and some encouragement.
So, if your thoughts on New Year’s Eve were about how you didn’t need to make any resolutions because you already go the gym every day, maybe you should try to spend 2011 being a little less selfish.
That’s my soapbox. And for the record, my resolution—to write more—has me feeling better already.