Resolutions for a New Day

Hearing adults making their New Year’s Resolutions intrigued and amused me as a child. They were promising to do something for a whole year? Is there a fortuneteller in the house? Why would anyone want to do that? And they did the same thing last year! How would I like a year’s homework assignments spreading out in front of me? I feel the same way still. You hear and see the self-inflicted pressure all round: lines form for gym memberships…declarations of withdrawal from social media, well, almost…reading good books…regular, uninterrupted sit-down meals…tools and yard equipment purchased…registration for that one class to upgrade skills….

The sad, earnest face of a University of Virginia undergraduate appears in my memory, as he rises tentatively to ask a question after my talk. “Do you really think it’s possible for me to change my way of thinking? To undo the mindset I’ve acquired? Do you really?”  (My answer was yes.) Though I don’t know what he had in mind, it was obvious that he grasped the power of habit. Repeated behaviors and viewpoints leave their marks and take root. True change demands time and fierce diligence. Nothing happens all at once. We can’t get it right once and for all. Cake can only be eaten one piece at a time!


Digging deeper into the root of the word “resolution,” I was drawn to Webster’s synonyms for the word “resolute”: firm, steady, faithful, decided, positive. What appealing personal characteristics for good living. I can try to do this! As a way of starting a fresh day, I’ll hold onto those qualities and add to my list of daily guides: awake, direct, uncomplicated, inquisitive, adventurous, and present. While avoiding resolutions for a new year, I can be resolute as a way of life. I hereby resolve to experience, fully, one day—(half day…half hour…breath and blink)—one laugh, handshake, moon, tear, and song at a time. Hopefully I can string moments together into savored days—for life. And I trust that needed changes and improvements will evolve as a natural practice, generated day in and day out because life has my full attention.

So I wish you a necklace of Happy New Days: a happy new cloud, birdsong, sunrise, cornhole game, dog bark, rocking chair, and conversation. Here’s to a happy new cup of coffee, candlelight, hug, blueberry, and starry night. Of course, a tall glass raised high to a sense of humor and sense ability.