Many people do not make New Year resolutions at all, and I admit I like that approach. Why wait for New Year when you can wake up on any day and decide to take up a positive action or give up a negative one? Birthdays are frequently a time for ambitious plans and gestures, especially those landmark birthdays, I was going to be a wife and mother with my family complete by the time I was twenty eight, having seen my mother struggle as an older mother. It didn’t happen. Lent, which will be upon us soon , is characterized as a time for giving something up; preferably something that it would pain us to go without…like chocolate. In Recent years, the emphasis has moved towards taking up something…something positive.
Sadly, I think that resolutions no matter when they are made, need to be achievable and need to be realistic and so often they are not. Many people dream of becoming a writer, or starting some other kind of business, but no matter how big your talent and determination, you do not become rich overnight when starting any kind of business. To plan for something that is too ambitious and unrealistic in its timescale only leads to a sense of failure and disappointment.
Several years running a friend makes the classic big resolution to give up smoking. However, life has not been easy for her and the first response to stress for so many, is to light a fag, and she isn’t in a good place to give up smoking. Resolutions need to be realistic no matter when they are made, to have any chance of success. Like going on a diet, if it took years to put the weight on it won’t all come off in a week.
Since I don’t smoke, well, I did once when I was seven and lit up one of my father’s cigarettes which he had left on the sitting room coffee table, a very frightening cough and a beating from my mum, left such an impact in my memory that I never smoked again, I can’t make resolutions to give it up. In any case, probably because I don’t smoke I think that giving it up if I did would be easy, since I don’t like the idea of it. I’m sure it would be different if I was a smoker, but is a resolution still a resolution if it is easy and takes little or no effort?
I’m not sure that resolutions are any more likely to be sure to succeed depending when they were made. We are constantly a work in progress, so if we are determined and the circumstances and situation are right for it, we can make fresh beginnings at any time, which is great for career goals.