New Years! A time of year when everyone decides they will be just that little bit better. But many of these promises are emptier than the gym on January 2nd. Yup, that’s right… despite everyone’s certainty that they will follow through, in 2021 only 35% of people kept all they’re resolutions! So why, year after year, do we keep this tradition? The automatic answer is simple – because it’s a tradition. People aren’t going to discontinue New Year’s resolutions just because some people don’t follow them. How is this tradition negative? Well, it turns out, it is. If you think about it, hundreds of millions of people in America alone are lying to themselves every year, committing themselves to things they’ll never do. Isn’t that wrong? Shouldn’t people be truthful? It seems like the fact that a tradition exists isn’t enough to nullify these problems. But what about the hope it gives? Some might argue that the joy of setting goals for yourself outweighs the immorality of lying to yourself. But I know multiple people who disagree. False hope isn’t hope, ignorant bliss isn’t worth the ignorance. But to me there is another possibility.
Look at this blog. I haven’t written on it since August! At first, I was preparing for my Bar Mitzvah, then I had schoolwork, then I was on vacation. I realized I already had been lying to myself, putting off my blog for months on end. I made my resolution: I would restart my blog. As my family went around the table saying our resolutions, I realized that most people were simply reinforcing old things. My Mom is finishing her book; my dad is working on the three papers he has been writing for a while, my older brother is going to get back to his college applications and my little brother is going to exercise more. These are all things that we have been doing for quite some time but have sort of forgot about. They have trailed out and lost meaning, but the new year has reinvigorated them.
The purpose of new year’s now appears to me to be a restarter. An air freshener to the mind. Things fall out of gear as we do them, and the purpose of this is to remind us to keep going. Of course, it’s great to start something new for the new year, as long as you can keep hold of it. But I’ve begun to enjoy an opportunity to clean the slate and have a fresh beginning. Happy 2022!