October 23, 2018

RobertBY ROBERT JANES

Is it safe to assume that you have given up your New Year’s resolution yet? This year my New Year’s resolution was not to have one. Instead, I promised myself I would make small changes every day to better myself. After all, the calendar can’t tell me when I need to change.

The first of January marks the beginning of a new year and a day to promise self-improvement. Each year millions of people create resolutions which are quickly abandoned, including to give up smoking, coffee or chocolate, to make more money, or to become more active by joining a local gym.

While plenty of people sign up for gyms in January to help them lose weight or get fit, memberships begin to dwindle soon after. Joining the gym is in the top five resolution goals but approximately 80 per cent of January memberships are cancelled by the second week of February.

In 2016, Stats Canada polls found only one-third of Canadians create a New Year’s resolution, and 73 per cent of those usually break them.

New Year’s Day is the perfect day to re-evaluate goals and to acknowledge past accomplishments. However, it is not the only date to set goals or resolve and should not be viewed as such. Change is beautiful because it can happen at any time and the deciding factor is none other than you.

Resolutions have been around for thousands of years. As part of a 12-day festival in mid-March, Babylonians crowned a new king or reaffirmed loyalty to the reigning king, and also made promises to the gods to pay their debts and return borrowed objects. If they kept their word, they thought the gods would bestow favour on them for the coming year. The Romans had a similar practice, but offered sacrifices.

But, we should not limit ourselves to making change or resolutions once per year and on such a tight schedule. Instead, try to better yourself each day. Change is easiest when there is a plan and when it is not rushed. You can sit and think about the things you would like to change, just remember to take it one step at a time.

Today try to be a better you than you were yesterday, and tomorrow try to be better than you were today.

The views herein represent the position of the newspaper, not necessarily the author.

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