And it’s the only time of year I know of when people officially switch from “to do” lists to “to be” lists. For 364 days of the year, most of us are so busy doing what we have to do, we rarely take our shoulder from the grindstone long enough to take a breath.
Most of us set aside only one day at the end of the old year to take it all in and assess the big picture in order to ensconce ourselves into a nice position in the new year via our resolutions to “be a better person.”
Year after year, we start a glimmering new one filled with idealistic, if not impossible, expectations. But only a few days later, the shine begins to tarnish as our unrealistic aspirations fade. Our nascent resolutions mock us. But breaking them is an intrinsic part of the human cycle.
The act of making these resolutions each new year is in itself a cleansing ritual of self-assessment, self-scrutiny and repentance that demands personal honesty, which ultimately, reinforces humility.
Humility? Yes, we all need changes in our lives. Although we know none of us is perfect, we find it very hard to cop to our real faults. But how many of us who really engage in honest soul-searching have no regrets?
Although there is great consolation in admitting our faults and failures to a friend, the real catalyst for change lies in our silent confessions to ourselves. Owning up is the first, painful step onto the highway to something better.
We will no doubt fail in some of what we set out to do, but we know that failure is not the end. For the person who is determined to learn from it, failure is the beginning.
What matters most is an unwillingness to quit.
Fortunately, mid-course corrections can be made more than once a year.
Although the brink of a new year is a good time for reassessment and rebirth, so is each and every morning. Through honest self-evaluation and heartfelt confession, we can start each day with a clean slate—already forgiven, our past transgressions already forgotten.
Whether or not you stay up until midnight to welcome the new year in—or just to make sure the old year leaves, consider that there’s no reason you can’t resolve to begin again every day of the year.
The only resolution each of us needs to make is to discover the person God designed each of us to be, and allow ourselves to become that person every day.