New Year’s Resolutions, Why?

by Mary Haight on January 2, 2013

New Year's resolutionsNew Year’s resolutions are often made with good intentions, and just as often left behind even before January has passed. So what moves us to think that any declarations we make will succeed given the evidence of years of broken promises strewn like confetti after a parade? Why do we torture ourselves? Is it because we are hopeful, or because we know we could be a better version of ourselves if we just had that one missing piece of the puzzle?

Change is really very difficult. As much as we might want it, we fight it – either passively through procrastination or actively through deliberate sabotage. But there is something that will turn you around – something strong enough to keep your resolve pushing forward. Psychologists might say it’s fear and they would have a point, but I think it’s love coupled with the fear of loss that changes the outcome of resolutions. You’re wondering by now no doubt, how does this relate to dogs?

Just before Christmas, our community of dog bloggers shared the loss of the famously well-traveled agility dog Cosmo Havanese with his person, Diane Silver. We got a chance to hear all about Cosmo’s trip to Italy on a podcast at Animal Cafe. This sad and unsettling loss of a darling, vibrant dog who lived a wonderful, active life made me consider time and how much of it I spend with my own aging dog (grooming aside since that is not so much a joy for my double-coated Shih-Tzu). I have had to re-think my position on resolutions as a fool-hardy pursuit.

Earlier this morning I chose a quote for a status update on FB that must have stuck in my head and pushed this topic out for this morning’s post:

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time given us” ~J.R. Tolkien

And there you have it, at the root of all resolutions is our decision on how we will spend our time. Exercising, sleeping, reading, writing, playing, protesting, eating, relating, befriending, loving — the success or failure of our intentions is held in each moment — it is our decision to make. To be aware of each moment and conscious of how we use our time, and the consequences of wasting it, might turn those well-intended New Year’s resolutions into goals met.

We can make this the year when unshakable change takes hold. How about it — are you in?

17 comments
kolchakpuggle
kolchakpuggle

I've never been a big "resolutions" person, but I am a big list maker. Lists tend to keep me on track and working towards my goals. So instead of resolutions, I just made a list of the things I want to do (daily, weekly, monthly) and I'm trying to stay on top of them. To me, resolutions always felt like I was trying to change who I was, where the lists just help me be the best me I can!

KimberlyGauthier
KimberlyGauthier

I love making resolutions, but they're the same resolutions I make for myself on a daily basis.  I see the New Year as my chance to leave the past in the past; it's a marker in life and whatever happened last year I either deal with and let go or just plain let go and move forward.

 

In 2013, I'm excited to say that I've finally reached a point in my life where I have a nice balance between family, dogs, work, and blogging.  But my goal is to work towards being a full time professional blogger.

 

Great post!

DawgBlogger
DawgBlogger

In a way I "outgrew" making resolutions. I believe that if one wants to do something, they'll do it. If they haven't done it yet, the probably never won't. Resolutions just give one something to feel bad about later.

 

So I just do my best, which does include time. Am I doing great? Well, I think the time is winning and I'm losing.

IndyAgent
IndyAgent

Time is the one thing we all have equal amount of and how we choose to use it, is what differentiates us! 

haroldgardner
haroldgardner

The funny toast that I heard was, may your troubles last as long as your resolutions...

BuddyHodges
BuddyHodges

As a dog lover I can relate to your metaphor.  Surely dogs live in the moment -- now...

 

My Border Collie is an excellent role model, not only for living in the moment, but also for relationship building. She wins over even those who are shy of dogs by giving attention, recognition, and enthusiasm.

CarolBryant
CarolBryant

I set 12 goals a year - one per month. They are do-able and achievable. Anything more than that is a bonus. I am into resolutions but I am into goal setting and have done this for years. If feels good at the end of a year to have 12 accomplishments, at a minimum in place. Happy New Year!

Sheltie Times
Sheltie Times

If I think of the resolutions or goals I've set and achieved they've always had something practical or achievable I was ready to commit to and the resolution or goal was just a way of commiting to it.  Those that failed were more dreams than actual things in my life I was ready to change, move towards, or adapt.

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