The new year is a fresh start
Jan. 6, 2014
by Jenni Sebora

“Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?” is the initial line of the ever-popular poem and song, “Auld Lang Syne.”

It was written and collected by Robert Burns in 1788. “Auld Lang Syne,” means “for the sake of old times,” or “should old times be forgotten?” Nostalgic words that remind us that although a new year is starting, one should remember old times, as well.

My daughter asked me if I was excited for 2014.

My answer, “Of course.”

I am always excited at the prospect of a new start. It isn’t that I begrudge the past or wish to forget it – quite the contrary. We learn from our past and use those memories, trials, tribulations, and accomplishments to move forward into new times.

Statistics tell us that a great percentage of people make new year’s resolutions – that is, to reflect on self-improvement and then to act upon the resolve that we have each set forth for ourselves. A great percentage, however, do not necessarily succeed in the accomplishment of the resolutions. In fact, I read a statistic that more than 80 percent fail.

Men are more apt to succeed in their resolutions, if they set up goals and small steps to meet those goals. Women, however, need a public announcement and friendship support to make their resolutions more likely to be a reality.

I believe, even if our resolutions aren’t necessarily reached in their entirety, reflection on self-improvement is a positive in and of itself. Sometimes, we know that the process is just as important, or more important than the actual end result. We can learn much from engaging in self-improvement actions.

Donate to charity, live greener, eat healthy, exercise, lose weight, quit smoking or drinking, get rid of a bad habit, improve education, improve career, save money, get out of debt, improve grades, volunteer more, watch less television, spend more quality time with family, go on a trip, learn something new, read more, procrastinate less, get along with others, reduce stress, be more spiritual, show appreciation, be more positive thinking, and the list of possible resolutions continues.

Some resolutions are more difficult to attain than others. Some require more diligence than others, but the thought of a new start, however positive and negative the past, can be so enlightening and promising. Everyone needs this. Everyone should reflect; set goals and move forward.

Share your resolution with someone else who can support you in it. This is another acknowledgement. We need each other. We should surround ourselves with people who can help us reach our goals, and be good people to ourselves and others.

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