Jan. 1 is reminiscent of Genesis, the Bible’s first book. It’s first three words are ‘in the beginning,’ just as New Year’s Day marks a new beginning.
How many resolutions will you declare on this day in 2018 for a new beginning of changes in your life-style? New Year resolutions are a tradition in which a person resolves to change an undesirable trait or behavior to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life. One Gallop Poll found that the 46 percent of folks who made common resolutions such as weight loss, exercising more or quitting smoking were over 10 times as likely to succeed compared to only 4 percent of those who chose not to make resolutions. ‘Resolves’ is key, meaning the person is committing to a firm decision.
A list of popular resolution goals are:
▪ Concerning health: to eat better, drink less alcohol, stop biting nails.
▪ Improve mental well-being: think positive, laugh more often, enjoy life.
▪ Improve finances: get out of debt, save money, make small investments.
▪ Improve education: read more books, learn something new.
▪ Improve yourself: get more organized, reduce stress, be less grumpy, manage your time.
▪ Volunteer: adopt-a-highway program or offer help in charitable organizations.
Other goals include spending less time on social media, more quality time with family members, or to pray more and become closer to God by attending church and reading your Bible.
While at church, you might sing the hymn “I Am Resolved,” whose lyrics include: “I am resolved no longer to linger, charmed by the world’s delight, things that are higher, things that are nobler, these have allured my sight.”
There’s this from an early 20th century New Year’s resolution postcard called “A Resolve for every Morning the New Year:” “I will this day try to live a simple, sincere and serene life, repelling promptly every thought of discontent, anxiety, discouragement, impurity and self-seeking, cultivating cheerfulness, magnanimity, clarity and the habit of holy silence, exercising economy in expenditure, carefulness in conversation, diligence in appointed service, fidelity to every trust and a ‘child-like’ trust in God.” It was written by Bishop John H. Vincent.
At Watch-night’ services on New Year’s Eve, many Christians prepare for the year ahead by praying and making new resolutions. They spend the last of fleeting moments of the old year and the first of the new in penitence, special prayer and with a fresh resolve to set an example for others to follow.
Here’s what some famous people had to say:
“Your success and happiness lies in your resolve to keep happy, and your joy shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” Helen Keller.
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every New Year find you a better man.” Benjamin Franklin.
I came across an old newspaper last week lining the bottom of my aunt’s old trunk dated May 9, 1963. I read the “Though for Today” that spoke about faith, hope and love being the three most important qualities of a Christian life. Many sermons have been preached on faith and love. Hope has received less attention. In Corinthians 13:13, the Apostle Paul spoke of hope. Hope is defined as positive thinking and positive thinking is optimism.
As Aristotle said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
Happy New Year!
Contributor Jean Tanner is a lifetime rural resident of the Bluffton area and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.