Dr. Jamie Jenkins: A New Year, a New Beginning

New Year's resolutions have not been a part of my routine for a long time. I agree with the person that said a New Year's resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.  So many promises are broken almost before they begin.

Introspection and goal setting are important and can be helpful in these efforts at the start of a new year. I just have not engaged in the practice of making resolutions at the start of a new calendar.

In case you have not yet made your New Year's resolutions and need help, below is a sampling of common resolutions--with comments:

  • Go back to school (Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity. -Aristotle)
  • Get a better job (Thankfully, I like my current one.)
  • Get in (better) shape
  • Make a difference (there are so many ways).
  • Go somewhere (Travel is great for the mind and the spirit.)
  • Quit smoking/drinking (I have other vices but not these.)
  • Reduce debt and save money (There are things that you can do without.) 
  • Get organized (It is not trust that a clean desk is the sign of a sick mind.)
  • Find someone special (Those who have that someone special--that includes me--are blessed.)
  • Focus on important relationships (Friends and family are most important.)
  • Learn something new (You never know it all and you are never too old.)
  • Enjoy life more (You only go around once.)
  • Simplify (More is not necessarily better.)
  • Get enough sleep (In the bed at night not in the recliner in the den?)
  • Help others (There is plenty of need and you will feel better.)
  • Reduce stress (Work smarter and realize that you cannot do everything.)
  • Fight procrastination (If you can find time.)
  • Spend more time with family and friends (Maybe the best investment you can make.)
  • Give more love (Whoever lives in love lives in union with God and God lives in union with them. - I John 4:16) 
  • Try to be more tactful (A kind answer soothes angry feelings, but harsh words stir them up. - Proverbs 15:1, CEV).   
  • Recycle more (Environmental stewardship makes sense and is so easy.) 
  • Drink enough water (And you don't have to buy it in bottles.)
  • Be healthy (Eat right and exercise. If it is that simple, why don't I do better?)
  • Stop sweating the small stuff (Most things are small stuff.)
  • Develop or recommit to a hobby (Something simply for pleasure or relaxation.)

Perhaps you would be interested in what others have said about New Years and resolutions:

  • Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to. (Bill Vaughan)
  • Now there are more overweight people in America than average-weight people. So overweight people are now average ... which means, you have met your New Year's resolution. (Jay Leno)
  • New Year's Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time. (James Agate)
  • An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. (Bill Vaughn)
  • Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right. (Oprah Winfrey)
  • New Year's Day ... now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. (Mark Twain)
  • May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions! (Joey Adams)Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account. (Oscar Wilde)
  • We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives ... not looking for flaws, but for potential. (Ellen Goodman)
  • One resolution I have made, and try always to keep is this: To rise above the little things. (John Burroughs)
  • The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul ... Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective ... Unless a man be born again, he shall by no means enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. (G.K. Chesterton)

Happy New Year!

Jamie Jenkins

[Taken with permission from "Monday Morning in North Georgia," Jan. 3, 2011. [North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church.]](http://www.ngumc.org)