Every December the world fills up with talk about “New Year’s Resolutions.” I never took New Year’s Resolutions seriously until last year, 2022. Even though I was 9 months pregnant and had a toddler demanding all my energy and attention, I knew it would be good for me to make some kind of resolution or promise. I didn’t want to fail so I set the bar pretty low. But for starting out I think setting the bar at an attainable height is better than setting an incredibly high bar and failing almost immediately.
My Grandpa would tell us that committing to something helps better you. I think that’s the point of New Year’s Resolutions but it is often not acknowledged. We know that’s what they’re for but unless you actually call to mind and think about that aspect of it I believe they become meaningless or even selfish. You need to know the “why” behind what you’re committing to, without the “why” it is almost pointless.
My two resolutions last year were simple: to make our bed and to listen to Fr. Mike’s Bible in a Year Podcast everyday. While I certainly did not do either of these every single day (I’m still finishing the last couple weeks of the podcast) it did build some good habits in me and made me more disciplined. I think the only time in my life I ever even half-heartedly routinely made my bed was in college. Now, making the bed is just part of the daily routine. Does it happen as soon as I wake up? Almost never! (Unless Mark does it that is.) But I do make it at some point in the morning and it really does help set the tone for the rest of the day.
This year my resolutions are more labor intensive and one is inspired by Mary Frances’ Lenten goal last year. This year I am aiming to write one post for Lander’s Forge a month. Who knows what the topic of each month will be but I think it will be a good exercise for me. My writing skills have been neglected and gotten weak since college. As a writing teacher for the homeschoolers around here I feel like a hypocrite never writing myself while I assign and grade their papers. Theoretically I know most of the rules, I just need to apply and practice them. I fear this will be more difficult and humiliating than I care to admit.
My other New Year’s Resolution is to read one book a month outside of the mandatory books I have to read for teaching and our priest’s book club. This is huge for me because I am not and never was a reader. I do not enjoy reading. I like to have read things and the knowledge that comes from reading, but the literal act of sitting and reading is not appealing to me. And for the record, I have tried audio books and I retain very little from them. I am a visual learner and need to see the words and hold the book to remember any of the names, themes, actions, philosophies etc. I appreciate the ease of audio books and they are fantastic for quickly learning something that I need in an instant, but generally they do not work for me. This month I am working on Charolette Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Next month I hope to read Walker Percy’s The Movie Goer. May my self-discipline be stronger than my dis-like for reading.
In conclusion, I think New Year’s Resolutions are good for learning self-discipline and worthy of committing to each year. I would like to thank Mary Frances for giving me the idea to do this particular commitment and Sean for recommending my February book. May this year be full of learning, over-coming challenges, and joy!