By Adam Wilkinson
I’m a resolved to make changes and be helpful through the year, not just when the clock strikes 12:01 am on a new calendar.
For many years I spent the weeks leading up to New Year’s Day thinking of a resolution; a way to make changes for myself to be a better person and improve my overall standard of living. Mostly they ended up in the typical fashion: eat healthier, exercise more, work harder—basically anything that is an improvement for my own personal reasons.
The last few years I took a different approach. I began by asking myself, “Why take one day to make a change? Why not make many changes throughout the year.” Even the time I spend thinking and waiting for the new year to begin I could be changing myself and helping others.
New Year’s Resolutions tend to cause stress on us because it adds extra pressure to incorporate an aspect of our lives that we have had difficulties in the past maintaining.
I’ll eat healthy for about a month, and then I’ll order a pizza, guzzle a soda and poof, resolved no more. I’ll miss one day at the gym, and then the next thing I know, three to four days have gone by and poof, resolved no more. Another aspect that got me thinking was many of our resolutions have to deal with ourselves. There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve our lives and standard of living. However, with so many others in need of assistance, those of us fortunate enough, and with the resources, should offer more to the world.
Let us strive for balance if we must be resolved.
The past two, going on three years now, I have boycotted New Year’s Resolutions to begin the new year. I would rather improve throughout the year, place less pressure on myself to do things that stress me out in a short period of time, and be more helpful to others. We become so consumed with our own well-being that we tend to overlook how helpful we can be to others. Furthermore, if we decide to take this path, why make this decision to help others just once a year?
I want to help others, not just myself.
I must admit to being no saint. I have personal desires and aspirations that may make me seem self-absorbed. However, the past few years I have been resolved to do more for myself and others. My resolutions begin whenever I feel the desire in the moment. I don’t wish to begin every January 1st with something new. Instead, I would rather be better, make personal improvements and help others more than just once a year. I don’t want to be labeled or judged by my actions at the beginning of the year; judge me and all I accomplish throughout the year.
Take a leap this year and try a different approach. Place less emphasis and stress on yourself. Try living more in the moment to improve yourself and help others. Be resolved and open to change every day, not just once a year. If we fail, we can always pick ourselves back up and try again or begin anew. There are 365 days on a calendar, one day should not dictate changes necessary we all feel we need to make to live a better, more fulfilling life.
When the clock strikes midnight this upcoming and all years to come, I will remain content knowing that I am not constricted to make changes to my life at that exact moment, or even one minute later. I will continue to improve throughout the year and make more and more resolutions to my heart’s content whenever the mood arises. Change is inevitable. I will remain open to changing and resolving to improve myself and the world around me more than one day of the year.
Adam Wilkinson, high school Social Studies teacher by day, freelance writer and free spirit by night. Firm believer in fate and that all things happen for a reason. Worshiper of the sun, ocean and the stars. Lover of tattoos, deep intellectual conversations and meaningful connections with like minded people. A jack-of-all-trades, so to speak. Someone once said of me, “You’re a lot of things, but one thing you never are is boring!” Words spoken from someone whom I’ve had a close bond with most of my life and words that I have always tried to uphold. “Vive intenso!”
Editor: Alicia Wozniak