I resolve, even if I can’t remember

Published 11:14 am Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Two days to go.

That’s all you have left in 2018 because come Tuesday, another New Year will be upon us.

Do you have your 2019 resolutions ready?

The best advice someone who is a serial resolution-forgetter like myself ever received; though, lo, I never subscribed to it, was to get my New Year’s resolutions together and to take them seriously.

A minister friend had some great suggestions, but then again, I found myself floundering in the excuse of politely listening to that sage counsel, and in my mind having heard it all before.

If you’re like me and you’ve done your resolution prep, then you’ve been making this list and checking it more than twice, thrice, or even sixes.

At the end of every year I’m like tons of other people who’ve done my due diligence on assembling my resolutions, but by the end of that particular year, again like the rest of you, I’ve forgotten what my New Year’s resolutions made at the end of the previous year were supposed to be; or, in my case: ‘have been.’

Well, here I go again; see if the little voice in your head sounds like mine: I’ve got to do better in 2019.

Like the preacher said, maybe the first thing to do and the best thing to do is, well, to start by making a pledge to do better.

“Prepare, Gene,” he said. “Focus on who you’re going to be in 2019.”

Before dispensing this wisdom he wished me a Merry Christmas, and hoped before I did any resolving, I had made it a season (one day!?!) of giving.  I think he wanted to make sure I gave something to Jesus, if you know what I mean.

“Take these next few days and think about what you’re really going to do in the New Year this time,” he advised. “Make it not just a New Year, but a ‘New You’ in the New Year.”

He said not to bring those old attitudes, those old habits, and that old lack of focus into 2019.     

“Prepare today,” he intoned, with that solemnity in his voice as only those really good preachers have. “And, you must be serious about being engaged and involved.”

I had to remind him that I’m one of those people that has trouble with change. Change isn’t just hard, but for me, change by itself is almost impossible.

Resolving to change is fine, but maybe creating a brand-new habit rather than a brand-new me might be much more important in the long run; maybe more important than that set objective I see myself attempting to achieve.

Most of us have been conditioned from the time we’re young to develop that list of things we intend to do – or at least be better at doing – in the new year.

Last year it was – again! – try to lose weight; exercise more; keep a tighter rein on my finances, even win the Mega Millions Lottery (I like to go BIG with my resolutions!). You might say when I finished and viewed the list, I’d gone from the mundane to the downright miraculous. Instead of trying to get everything covered, maybe using the KISS system (keep it simple, stupid!) could make for whatever I resolved to be better at for another year.

Think about what if we had to limit ourselves to one resolution? And what if we resolved to “Do One Thing”, not for ourselves, but for someone else?

Maybe we could pull it off, or maybe we’d just quit and say it was too hard.

There we go with the excuses, and from there comes the trashing of the resolutions.

Happy New Year, folks, and get those hammers and chisels out, because we’re all going to need a lot of luck, and something more besides, in shaping that brand-new you. But if we’re diligent in following up, we just might have sculpted ourselves a masterpiece.

Gene Motley is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at gene.motley@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7211.