More thoughts about resolutions

I know, I know…we’re nearly a week into the New Year. Enough with the “resolutions” already! We’ve abandoned our good intentions somewhere along the road, trod them all underfoot. (Where is this road going, anyway?)

But why is there such a strong reaction against the idea of a New Year’s Resolution? I recognize the fact that it’s a cliché–and it’s a cliché to assume that all such resolutions will be broken by lunchtime.

But why?

I get the feeling that folks who poo-poo the whole idea of such “life make-over” decisions are saying one of two things:

  1. I don’t need to change, I’m fine just the way I am; OR
  2. I don’t have an ounce of self-discipline and I can’t possibly change anything about myself, no matter how much incentive there is.

SO: either you’re perfect or completely spineless.  Neither one is very attractive.


To resolve, I was pondering today…what does that really mean?

cordsOriginally, it meant the same thing as to “solve”–to loosen or break into constituent parts, as one would a complex tangle of cords. It came to mean both solving a mathematical puzzle and holding firmly to something, at about the same time, 100 or so years later.  Using the word solve or resolve for figuring out a different kind of problem makes sense to me. ‘Holding firmly’–not so much. How did that meaning ever evolve?

I wonder whether it was because the prefix re– began to be commonly used to mean ‘again’ or ‘anew’ at about that time.How about this: since ‘to solve’ means to work out a puzzle…perhaps the ‘solution’ slipped away from you, and you had to do it again. You needed to keep a firmer grip on it–literally or figuratively, take your pick.

Let’s face it: we all know of areas in our lives that could be improved, habits we should take up–or break. And chances are, we’ve made some attempt in the past to make that change, and failed.

So there you are: a need for resolution, … a ‘more firm grasp’ on the situation, habit, etc…

A determination, a concentrated self-discipline which grabs the issue by the scruff of the neck and

Does. Not. Let. Go.


Resolution not only sounds like a good idea for you and me,  it sounds like a smashing idea for our current government. Does anyone in Congress really understand ‘resolution’ any more?

14 responses to “More thoughts about resolutions

  1. New Years resolutions only set people up for failure, very few follow thru with them. I ask myself, do I need another failure? I answer myself, nope! And yes, I talk to myself a lot. 😀

  2. It is always easier to cop out than follow through. How about a self disciplined spineless? :p

    • How about, we all can’t be perfect?

      There’s always something to be fixed about yourself, if there wasn’t, then we would all be perfect. Why pick one day to decide to fix one thing, why not work on just being the best person you can be every day? That doesn’t make one spineless and undisciplined.

      I join the ranks of those who wish they could be you. 😀

      • Not sure how to take that, Phoebe…I’ve just been thinking a lot about ‘resolution’. Forget the “new year’s” part of it. God gives us a fresh start every moment, so any day is a good day for a resolution. It’s just that more of us think along those lines at this time of the year, artificial dividing line or not.
        I was trying to encourage all of us (especially me) to get a better grip on some aspect of life which has so far eluded us, and work to get it right.

        I don’t really think we disagree on this. 🙂

        • Don’t worry about how to take that, it was directed as a reply to prodigal daughter, I took her response as an insult. Spineless is not a word I would use in conjunction with people that may have a hard time accomplishing certain things. She may not have intended it as an insult but, since her grammar was a bit off, it’s hard to tell, I should have just left it alone.

          I feel you try to encourage all of us EVERY day and we thank you.

    • Dear Daughter: No, no…just slippery hands! I KNOW that few if any of us REALLY think of ourselves as either perfect or spineless…but when we “cop out” on making resolutions, that’s what it sounds like to me. Fear of failure, maybe? Not seeking the Lord’s strength for those things which CAN be changed? We all have great excuses–I know I do. I’m finding that I’m sick of making excuses. I need to get a better grip, that’s all. Those good intentions need a firmer tether. Problem is, I’m getting arthritis in my hands. Which would be a great excuse for being lax, but I’d like to resist THAT temptation! Here’s to a more disciplined 2013!

  3. I think I am doing just fine.

    Wait a minute, why am I in this handbasket?
    And where are you taking me??

  4. Pingback: Mid-Faith Crisis? « Winnowing…sorting the wheat and chaff of my thoughts

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