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?

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