A New Year’s resolution is a promise that we normally make to ourselves on the first day of the year about good things that we intend to do or bad things that we plan to stop doing. Even a resolute decision can be easily forgotten the next day, unless we make a concrete plan to keep our promise and have enough support from our daily environment for sticking to it.
Our resolutions often have with our living habits to do: eating healthier, drinking less or that we plan to exercise more and live an overall healthier and more self-disciplined life. No matter what we choose to do, our promises should be realistic and they should not cause us additional (negative) stress and worry. Rather these resolutions should be easy-to-follow guidelines for living our daily life in a pleasant way without imposing excessive limitations on to us.
Understanding oneself on a deeper level
The Irish actor Cyril Cusack (1910-1993) has shared his words of wisdom by stating: “If you asked me for my New Year Resolution, it would be to find out who I am.” Quite a quest, don’t you agree? A quest means seeking something important and it usually involves a journey. For finding out who we are is definitely a quest and an adventure for a lifetime. Probably several New Year’s resolutions – one after the other – will be needed until we can say with a great certainty: “This is what I am!”.
Getting to know ourselves is the process of understanding oneself on a deeper level than just the surface. Who we are emotionally, psychologically, mentally, physically, intellectually, spiritually or professionally has to do with our values, beliefs, ideals, attitudes as well as our good and bad habits, strengths and weaknesses, passions and fears, likes and dislikes. Given the context and life situation in which we happen to be, our self, our multiple identifications and our personality define our priorities, preferences, interests and aspirations.
The aim of a New Year’s resolution is to change something or at least to initiate something that gradually leads to a change. This may concern our personal habits, attitudes or the way we wish to see our social relationships function. It can also be about something more radical, such as making efforts to find a more meaningful job or to launch degree studies at the university. Ideally, as I see it, a New Year’s resolution should be a road that we are both willing and committed to explore on a more long-term basis (and not just for one day).
A New Year is a fresh start
In the Middle Ages knights were forever taking on quests. Fearlessly carrying their lances, shields and banners they rode into battle and unknown adventures on horses. This is exactly the spirit for us to conquer the New Year ahead of us.
We should say goodbye to our insecurities and fears, and bravely embark on our personal journey to find more purpose and meaning for our earthly wandering. A resolute promise on a New Year’s Eve or Day can be the stepping stone to make our own lives better, and that way, even without noticing it, we can contribute to the wellbeing of other people around us.
The New Year of 2017 is a new chapter in our lives waiting to be well written!
Text: Mika Launikari
Photo: Happy New Year Dp