Hundreds of thousands of people gaze up at you with hope & joy & you gaze back at us in wide-eyed wonder. You are young & eager, with no knowledge & no experience, & yet we all look to you to make our dreams come true, to supply us with enthusiasm, & to meet dozens of other expectations.
Now you probably look at us with something close to fear. A small child is 2016, a duckling barely hatched. Old 2015, trusty thing, has passed on to some other life, & in his place 2016 steps up, ready to perform every necessary duty but not quite knowing how to go about it. With no helping hand but for a couple bits of advice from 2015, waving him & us goodbye & good riddance from a golden ship sailing to eternal happiness & peace. No doubt 2015, all overcome with the woes of this world, was too happy to surrender his position to the fragile 2016. But like any young year, 2016 doesn’t know what to do. He’s got no prayer of leading the world for his whole lifetime without mistake!
I believe this is where New Year’s Resolutions come in, sturdy but doubtful soldiers that little 2016 hails with immense relief. He must still command the Resolutions, but the army is obedient & as eager as 2016 himself. They promise faithfully to do their best, & their very presence lightens the load on 2016’s shoulders, at least for a time. About a month through 2016’s life he will have gained much more knowledge, & the poor condemned Resolutions, having served their purposes, will gradually die from starvation. 2016 will lose all but a few very strong ones, & by the end of his life, he has very, very few to bid him farewell.
We humans unknowingly burden wee 2016 from the beginning to the end. Our Resolutions do help, but I think the best beginning for a new year is to start off small. Later, when 2016 is stronger, we can build up to those great goals in mind. That’s really the only way to do anything. I’m already quite fond of 2016, & I am quite determined not to add to his already mighty load when I can lighten it instead. I think my New Year’s Resolution, hopefully like many other people, is to be a kind, thoughtful person from day to day. Not some humongous change that I fleetingly want to implement after reading some inspiring article. That would come crashing down about my ears before a month dwindles away. I’m going to start small. I think helpfulness in particular is one of the best changes to add to a list of daily tasks. Just something to keep in mind as I go through my days, & perhaps in the end it’ll become a part of me instead of some foreign goal.
So, on behalf of our little friend 2016, start with small resolutions & then work up to the great ones. Little acorns grow to be great oaks. & as Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
So welcome, 2016! & good luck!