New Year Resolutions – The Way Forward


As the charade of new year parties begins, it’s a mixed bag of emotions for most of us. Swinging between hip-hop to retro, we get set to ring in the new year in distinct styles. The clock ticks tediously, in no hurry to let go of the final moments. We, humans on the contrary are gushing with energy, more than eager to welcome the new year. It is a fresh start as every conversation begins with, “So…what is your New Year resolution?” The response evokes curiosity, laughs, and wonder. Some people have a structured list of resolutions, but many like me keep digging in and around searching for what to put on the list and then forget about it. My struggle with keeping up with resolutions and not letting them turn into dissolutions was constant till a book by Dr. Haesun Moon changed my perspective. From being the person who dejected framing compulsory New Year resolutions to impress family and friends, I progressed to mindfully crafting New Year resolutions.

“The past is malleable,” this phrase from Dr. Moon’s book is etched in my soul. Yes, having a New Year resolution is a testimony to the fact that life is in a fluid state. Nothing can be compartmentalized. The fluid state is a reminder that things can be undone. So, when a resolution is made, we are attempting to document progress from what has been in the past. We are focusing on the possibility of what can ‘be’ instead of staying rooted in the ‘why’ of the past. This is growth, this is moving forward, and this is change.

A New Year resolution is worth making because when I do that, I have created a picture of ‘what is yet to come’. The rest of the canvas is blank, leaving me ample opportunity to complete the picture. What is needed is a change in how I look at it. What I observe is that New Year’s resolutions come in phrases depicting things that people ‘would not like to do’. Eg: I will not eat fried food; I will not shout at Mom; I will not forget to complete the weekend chores.

I urge that we all take a pause and recreate a resolution stating instead ‘what you would do’. Eg: I will look after my health by avoiding fried food; I will improve my relationship with Mom; I will complete the weekend chores. There is a noticeable shift in moving from ‘not’ (a negative mindset) to ‘what I will do,” thus inviting hope and positivity.

So dear readers, go ahead and make resolutions with an underlying assumption that progress is happening, it only needs affirming.

Saravjot Hansrao