Ah, it's that time. Time for the big plans, the goal-setting, the New Year's Resolutions...
Personally, I don't believe in them. I think they're a complete and total waste of time. Why? Because a "resolution" is merely a statement of decision. It is merely me saying, "I think I'm too fat." or whatever. "I want to lose weight." Great.
As a martial arts instructor, I get to see lots of "New Year's Resolutions". They sign up for class, they buy the uniform, and they're really hard-core about coming to class and working out, and all that. Retention rate after January 31st? About 10%. Because it's hard. It's not easy. It's not a magic bullet. You don't come to Taekwondo class, and simply by showing up, the pounds come off, your body becomes hardened, and you learn all the really cool things that people with years of experience and training have learned.
As any black belt how they got there. They got there by coming to class week after week, month after month, year after year, and sweating their little hearts out. It takes time, it takes effort, it takes dedication, it takes discipline, and it takes being smart enough to have someone else along to help hold you accountable. Without any of those...good luck! You'll need it.
Personally, I prefer New Year's "Revolutions". Yes, it's a play on words, but in my opinion, an important one. You see a "revolution" is a radical change. It's not a wishful thought, or a wannabe decision. It's a complete and total alteration of what "is". We didn't have an American "resolution", we had an American REVOLUTION. We radically changed not only the system of government we were under, we radically changed ALL systems of government, for ALL time. The whole idea of a democratic Republic, while it had been tried in a couple of backhanded ways before, never had been systematically thought out and so thoroughly planned and executed. And government in this world has never been the same since. The American "experiment" has been held up as the gold-standard of self-governance for over 200 years. That's how radical it is. That's how much of a "revolution" it was, and still is today.
My family came to this continent in 1660 -- over 100 years before the Declaration of Independence. My ancestors decided to make a radical change from their old life, to life in this New World. Well, you don't make radical changes -- revolutions -- by doing the same thing the same way, over and over again. You put yourself into a position where you HAVE to do things differently. Why? Because we're human...we LIKE our patterns, we LIKE doing things the same way, we don't LIKE to change very much.
Fast-forward to today. Are you overweight? Great. FORCE yourself to do it differently. FORCE yourself to eat differently, to exercise differently, to approach weight-loss differently. Sure, you've tried to lose weight before, etc. But that obviously didn't work, or you wouldn't be looking at that again this year. So? Do it differently! Don't make a "resolution", create a "revolution".
We had a mini-revolution in a political sense this past November. People have been coasting along these past 2 years after the 2008 elections, thinking that if they just rode with the tide, everything would be ok. But this past year, they've noticed that the boat is getting awful close to the rocks. And, no matter what they (meaning "the people") say, those in charge of the boat keep saying, "don't worry, we know what we're doing. Trust us."
Well, the passengers in the boat finally decided that they no longer trusted the people that were in charge of the boat. They finally decided that since they (the people) are the paying customers cruising in this boat, that maybe, JUST MAYBE, they have some say in how close to the rocks the boat should come.
In short, "The People" remembered that THEY are the ones in charge of governing this state and this country, and that elected officials, and the government, as a whole, report to "the People", not the other way around. Yay!
My prayer for the year ahead is that "The People" remember that they were successful in their mini-revolution this past November, and that they now have an obligation to hold their elected officials on-course. I want to encourage you all...do NOT trust the boat completely to those you've elected. No matter WHO they are, they are still human, and they need to be constantly reminded WHO THEY WORK FOR. Doesn't matter if they're liberal or conservative. If we don't keep a constant eye on them, they will (again!) forget who they work for, and get arrogant, and try to do what they think is best for us, because they know better than we do what's best for us.
Fortunately for us all, the majority of the people were able to read through that lie in November. I'm praying that the "revolution" continues, and that we continue to have an active, informed and accountable electorate.
One last thing....what is my main New Year's Revolution this year?
...yeah....it's got something to do with my weight.... :)
...my two cents worth today.