COLUMN: Resolutions last all year

By Brandon Ramsey

New Year’s resolutions.  What were yours this year?  Everyone has one, at least for the first two or three weeks of the year, or so it seems.  Were yours any different from last year?  The truth of the matter is that we really have them all year long, but we just have a ritual of trying to follow through with them at the first of the year, and soon they’re forgotten.  New Year’s resolutions are no more than our wants and best intentions coupled with a little new hope motivating us with what seems like a potential fresh start. 

But why is the first day of January any different from the sixteenth day of July?  It isn’t the day!  It is the hope that sets this mindset in motion.  The beginning of something always gives us renewed hope in the possibility of achieving something great.  Think about it.  At the first of a new season every team truly believes that they are going to win the championship, despite last year’s record.  In the delivery room, every parent dreams of a future doctor, lawyer, or renowned artist.  In some cases, every second or third walk down the aisle you can hear the chant that this time will be different.  This hope is warranted and beneficial to the happiness of the one experiencing it, but too many times it is not accompanied by any change in behavior or planning.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when beginning a new year with a new and exciting resolution is a complete lack of planning.  Just reciting to yourself that you are going to lose twenty pounds will not burn off any calories.  You might lose your appetite but sitting on the couch and wishing will not give you the six pack abs you desire.  Don’t you love this one: “I’m going to be a better person/husband/wife this year.”  What does that look like?  I’m the counselor and that’s even too vague for me!  With that lack of direction, you’ll be back to the same old routine by the end of the first week.

The second biggest mistake is we give up too easily.  As soon as our first slip-up rears its ugly head, we throw our hands up and act like it is the end of the world.  We don’t allow ourselves grace; it’s all or nothing, sink or swim.  What’s wrong with a little dog paddle or just treading water sometimes? 

Since today is already the twenty third of January, this article could be too late for some of you.  But listen to a couple of pointers and reevaluate your chances for success.  First thing is to sit down and put some real thought into your resolutions.  What are you trying to accomplish?  How do you plan to get there?  The second thing is to understand that each day is the start of a new year.  No matter if it is January first or July sixteenth.  Treat each day like the beginning of a new year with a renewed Hope and endless Possibility.  I promise many more fulfilled resolutions next year!

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Brandon is the Owner/Director of Faith in the Family Counseling. He has been practicing in Ruston for over 16 years. His website is http://www.faithinthefamily.life. Brandon was born and raised in Ruston and is a graduate of Ruston High and Louisiana Tech. He is married to Marcie Ramsey and has three childen.