Author and philosopher G.K. Chesterton has said the object of a new year is not that we should have a new year, but rather that we should have a new soul.
In a way, I think he’s right. There’s so much more to a new year than just making New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and get more exercise, earn more money or even to be nicer to others.
There’s something about getting to start a new year that brings us an inner hope that maybe this time we will get it right, that maybe this year we will become more the kind of person we imagine we are on our best days.
It’s not that I’m against making New Year’s resolutions. I’ve made them for years and kept them for years, or rather weeks and days. But now I’m thinking I may have been making too many of the wrong resolutions all this time.
The other day I read an article by David Mielach, a staff writer for Business News Daily, about the 13 New Year’s resolutions which everyone should make. They were the kind of resolutions he felt were worth keeping regardless of the month or season of the year.
Those resolutions are as follows: 1. Learn something new. 2. Walk in the park. 3. Volunteer. 4. Get your social media house in order. 5. Rediscover the library. 6. Step away from your desk. 7. Pay down your credit card debt. 8. Use your smartphone to quit smoking (Apparently there’s programs and support groups through smartphones). 9. Mind your health. 10. Kick the car habit. 11. Parents: Make every day count. 12: Get more sleep. 13. Consume more culture.
Of those 13 resolutions, I figure I need some serious help with at least several of them.
But what I also liked about those resolutions is that several of them involved making time for more fun. I love taking walks in the park, spending time in libraries, learning new things and consuming more culture. But, if I’m honest, I rarely build those times into my daily, weekly or even monthly schedules.
So, thanks to David Mielach, my 2013 New Year’s resolutions list will include carving out more time for fun in my life.
But regardless of our New Year’s resolutions, or lack of them, the start of a new year is something to celebrate.
For me, the best part about entering into another new year is not that I finally have all the answers to all my questions or that I know in advance that I will be strong enough and wise enough to handle every challenge that I will face in 2013.
But rather, the best part about entering into another new year is just the realization that the journey continues and, as I remember the words of G.K. Chesterton, that journey should lead to a renewed soul, if I let it. I don’t think I can ask much more than that from a new year.
BCR Senior Staff Writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.