01 January 2011


I don't really believe in New Year's resolutions. That's probably partly because, generally speaking, I don't like to do things that everyone else likes to do. (Let's not mention that stretch of Backstreet Boys fandom back in the 10th grade, mmkay?) But I think it's mostly because the difference between December 31st and January 1st just isn't that big. It's so arbitrary. For as long as I can remember, that has fallen in the middle of Christmas break, in the middle of a school year.

There are much better times of the year (or your life) to decide to change something. The beginning of the school year is a good place to start for most young people. One's birthday seems like a natural choice -- you're reminded that another year of your own life has passed, you get contemplative, you want to make some changes. I made a "bucket list" of sorts in October 2009 when I realized that our time for moving away was coming up soon (it was 20 or so months away at the time). I wrote down all the things I wanted to do before we move, and it's going pretty well.

MadnessOnWheels | Three
[Hopefully we'll have a van.]

I guess January 1st is a good time to try to give up alcohol, or to start a diet or workout program, but that's only because we all spend the month and a half before January 1st eating and drinking ourselves silly.

Need diet
[Stormtroopers will keep you on track.]

I suppose I also look at diets with an extremely skeptical eye. From what I saw growing up (and this is not uncommon), a diet is when you buy a bunch of stuff that's meant to keep you from eating fun things and make you skinny. Then after some number of months, you get fed up, you eat a bunch of whatever it is they told you you couldn't, and then you're off the diet until you find another program to spend money on. (Yes, I'm talking about my mother, but I'm not picking on her. Lots of Americans around the country do the exact same thing every year.) So that seems silly.

I do have one New Year's resolution this year. It's the same as the last two New Years as well. But the timing is due to a limitation of the technology. BibleGateway.com has this really cool feature where you can subscribe to an RSS feed of a read-the-Bible-in-a-year plan. You pick which plan you want (from the beginning, Old/New Testament, Chronological, and some others) and which translation you want. Then you subscribe to the feed and it shows up in your Google Reader (or whatever) every day! So that's cool. But the plans always start on January 1, of course. The last two years I gave up in the middle of the year after falling so terribly far behind that I couldn't possibly hope to catch up.

through bible in a year
[Old school]

Which means I'm not so different from everyone else. Three years with the same resolution, two years of failure. But a friend of mine likes to say, "Never stop starting." I think that's good advice. So whether you're making a change today or some other time this year, good luck, and if it's really important to you, don't stop starting!


JemJam said...

I agree with you on the resolutions and diet thing for a new year. I have never set a new year's resolution nor have I ever been on a diet. The latter is because I know that I don't need it.

Are you the owner of that car? I must know.

Jessie said...

Unfortunately, no, the car is not mine. All the photos are from Flickr searches (except the last one, which I screencap'd myself).

Robin Thomas said...

Very good post Jessie. I have not ever really set resolutions for the samereasons as you, the built-in failure. I do usually write goals down. They are just continuations of things I want to do better, continuing doing well, accomplish in the year and so forth. It is a timefor reflection and clarity. I will use my birthday this coming year. WHat a great idea.

Good luck on the bible for 2011. DO you feel you could start where you left off the last couple of years? Then your goal would be so do-able. Not that it isn't of course.