Some thoughts on New Year’s resolutions…
The idea of a fresh start, leaving the baggage of the past behind and being a new you with the new year has power for people.
Part of the tradition of the Jewish New Year (from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur) is being contemplative; taking stock of things you need forgiveness for from God, yourself, or both. And that kind of thinking often leads to people committing to be better in the new year.
People should take stock more than once a year, but setting this week as a special time to do so isn’t a bad thing. Doing something positive for yourself is okay, even if it feels like you’re going along with an arbitrary tradition.
And there’s power in setting a date. Look at almost any book/article/pamphlet on how to quit smoking. The first step is to set a date. January 1 is a perfectly good date. And you go into it with a little extra oomph because it has the feeling of being a time for new beginnings.
If you’re not into using this time to take stock and commit to positive changes, don’t. No one’s making you. If you feel people are pressuring you by asking about your resolutions, just hug them and say “my resolution is to be kind. Happy New Year.”