Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year - A New Promise.

To truly understand the purpose and complexity of a New Year's Resolution, I realized that I needed to take a deeper look at the meaning of the term "resolution", and its base word "resolve". For reference, the definitions are included at the end of this piece, with several highlighted portions which I will be discussing.

The dictionary definition of resolution is simple, and logical - the act or process of resolving: as the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones. A secondary definition considers it to be "something that is resolved" Resolve is defined as: to find an answer to.

It appears to me that most people fail at sticking to their resolution because they simply haven't taken the time to analyze their lives and resolved to change something that needs to be changed. The majority of people I know state that their New Year's Resolution is to lose weight. Well, that is wonderful... but it isn't easy. A resolution is not a wish - you can't just make a resolution and expect it to happen without work! That makes a lot of sense to me. It is very rare in today's society to get something for nothing. However, when you make a resolution... you are choosing to set a goal for yourself. The goal does not have to be a major breathtaking one.

To me, it matters more that you actually stick to the resolution than the goal you choose. If you decide that your resolution this year will be to drink less coffee - if you only cut out one cup a day, but stick to it... you're successful. If you cut out all coffee for two weeks until you're about ready to rip out your hair and shaking for desire for caffeine before giving in and running to Starbucks... you failed. Failing like that is not a terrible thing, as you've tried - but in reality if you'd given more thought to the steps involved in the process of achieving your goal, success would have been easier.

So my advice to you this New Year is to create a goal that is within reach and one that you can stick to. If you're a couch potato and decide that you want to take up snowboarding, don't expect to be competition for Shaun White by next Christmas - set your goal a bit lower and you are more likely to achieve it. Hey, if you do manage to achieve much more than you hoped for, at least that is not a disappointment!

Best Wishes for a Wonderful Year! I hope that you are all happy, healthy and full of joy!

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the noun resolution as 1: the act or process of resolving: as a: the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones b: the act of answering : solving c: the act of determining d: the passing of a voice part from a dissonant to a consonant tone or the progression of a chord from dissonance to consonance e: the separating of a chemical compound or mixture into its constituents f (1): the division of a prosodic element into its component parts (2): the substitution in Greek or Latin prosody of two short syllables for a long syllable g: the analysis of a vector into two or more vectors of which it is the sum 2: the subsidence of a pathological state (as inflammation)3 a: something that is resolved resolution to mend my ways> b: firmness of resolve 4: a formal expression of opinion, will, or intent voted by an official body or assembled group

The definition of resolve follows here:
1 obsolete : dissolve , melt2 a: break up , separate resolved the light into a play of color> ; also : to change by disintegration b: to reduce by analysis <resolve the problem into simple elements> c: to distinguish between or make independently visible adjacent parts of d: to separate (a racemic compound or mixture) into the two components3: to cause resolution of (a pathological state)4 a: to deal with successfully : clear up <resolve doubts> <resolve a dispute> b: to find an answer to c: to make clear or understandable d: to find a mathematical solution of e: to split up (as a vector) into two or more components especially in assigned directions5: to reach a firm decision about resolve to get more sleep> <resolve disputed points in a text>6 a: to declare or decide by a formal resolution and vote b: to change by resolution or formal vote resolved itself into a committee>7: to make (as voice parts) progress from dissonance to consonance8: to work out the resolution of (as a play)


Fistandantalus said...

Thank you SO much, this was the kind of thing I was working on for Part Two, but you did it more and better, as MJ would say.

Smiling Gypsy said...

I read yours and thought "something's missing" so I went with it... I was hoping you wouldn't mind!

CallMeAnn said...

I really liked the statement about a resolution not being a wish. I think people confuse the two. That's why we drop them.