I have got to be honest and tell you that I have always been rubbish at making and keeping New Year resolutions. What I really mean is that, while, I can make promises to do better, to be better, to work harder, to be tidier – that's all they are – just promises. I cannot think of a New Year resolution that I have actually succeeded in properly keeping.
I think that my resolutions could be described in the same way that, years ago, my English teacher described one of my essays; "Earnest but meaningless."
And yet ........ I can (with encouragement) decide to do something that I would prefer not to do – and then stick with it like glue. It seems to me that giving something the title of a 'New Year Resolution' is dooming it to failure, while tackling things one step at a time – and without the pressures of a high-profile 'Resolution' – is much more likely to be successful.
There is a wonderful example of how Mother Nature tackles problems, without the need for any great show, in the woodland near to Hockenhull Lane. During the summer, a large lorry delivered our new storage container and, to position it correctly, it had to drive into the woodland. Some trees were in the way of the manoeuvre and had to be removed. Others were just cut back – some dramatically so. One of these was a holly tree, which was left with only a hefty stem – being rather too small to deserve the title of a trunk.
Through the late summer, this stem looked so bare, so bald, so bereft. It had been left with no evidence of life whatsoever. And then ....... a few tiny buds appeared. Nature was taking a hand. Throughout the autumn, the shoots have become stronger and longer until, just before Christmas, it looked like this:-
Mother Nature didn't need a New Year and a resolution in order to get on with what was needed – she just did it. And that is my offering for the New Year – don't make resolutions. Instead, decide what you need to do and quietly get on with it. Might you fail? Certainly. Might you fail frequently? Almost inevitably. But if you never start, you are bound to be unsuccessful anyway. The holly might have ended up dying – but then, if it hadn't tried, it would just have ended up dead as a doornail. Have a try – quietly and without fanfare – and then, if you fail, no one will know. But, if you succeed, how wonderful!
Think of being able to bask in the admiration of all those who would otherwise have said, "You'll never do that!" I can tell you – it feels pretty good!