One at a time

The Compass - - OPINION - Kevin Hig­gins is the ed­i­tor of the Bea­con news­pa­per in Gan­der. He lives in Gan­der and can be reached at khig­gins@gan­der­bea­con.ca

A brand new year has started, and while this is only the be­gin­ning, it’s a good bet that an age-old tra­di­tion has al­ready taken place — those new year’s res­o­lu­tions made just yes­ter­day have prob­a­bly al­ready fallen by the way­side.

Don’t feel sad, be­cause peo­ple have been mak­ing and break­ing res­o­lu­tions for more than 4,000 years.

If this is the re­al­ity of th­ese early-Jan­uary prom­ises, why then is Jan. 1 such an im­por­tant date to bench­mark our short-com­ings?

His­tory has left a psy­cho­log­i­cal need to re­new our lives come Jan. 1, but does this make it the only time we should be look­ing at im­prov­ing our­selves?

The truth be known is that Jan. 1 is prob­a­bly the worst time of the year to be promis­ing your­self to drop weight, quit smok­ing, be­come more fit, or be­ing more friendly to those around you.

We are just com­ing off al­most a month of over in­dul­gence in var­i­ous as­pects of life, whether it be eat­ing, drink­ing, friend­li­ness or a mish-mash of naugh­ti­ness. Guilt has built up, and we are look­ing to im­prove — a true set-up for fail­ure.

Maybe spring would be a bet­ter time. We are months past the rush and bus­tle of the Christ­mas sea­son, and a re­birth is blos­som­ing all around us. Plants are com­ing to life, birds are re­turn­ing, and most peo­ple are in a more re­laxed and clearer state of mind.

There’s en­ergy abound that could keep minds and hearts more in­ter­ested in a self-im­prove­ment project.

Seems like a more log­i­cal time of year than dur­ing dark, cold, dreary days of win­ter, when there’s more as­pects of daily life, such as weather, road con­di­tions and too much time in­doors, al­ready drag­ging us down.

Well, if you don’t like spring as a time to make those res­o­lu­tions, why not try an even more sim­plis­tic ap­proach — one which will surely have its share of suc­cess and fail­ure, but for most will pro­duce more sat­is­fac­tion than dis­ap­point­ment.

In­stead of mak­ing one, two or three ma­jor res­o­lu­tions on Jan. 1, try an ap­proach where you wake ev­ery day with a re­solve to be bet­ter than the day be­fore in your daily ac­tiv­i­ties.

Yes, 365 at­tempts, and an ex­tra one in a leap year, at ac­com­plish­ing one res­o­lu­tion. Fail­ure, if it oc­curs, lasts only a short time, and each day brings an op­por­tu­nity for suc­cess.

Here’s all the best to ev­ery­one in 2014. Hope it’s a good year.

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