DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Jan 6 2014

Resolving to Renew

by Rebekah B

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As creatures who enjoy habits, creating or finding meaning, patterns, and structure in our lives, most humans keep track of time for these very reasons.  Our connections of the cycles of the seasons and the passage of time are intimately connected to our sense of identity.  With this comes the resolutions of the new year.

The sentiment of being given a clean slate (tabula rasa) is literally refreshing, the idea that we can each start anew, let go of some less than savory habits, pounds, grudges, and dedicate ourselves to healthier eating or exercise regimens, better financial planning, or creative pursuits we have previously allowed to fall by the wayside.  I think about checking out only as many library items as I can possibly read, listen to, or watch.  Hmmm…

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That most of us, soon after the January rollover, will also roll back to our previous comfort zones is probably inevitable and statistically about 80% of Americans do fall back to old habits, but this state of affairs does nothing to prevent us from hoping that our will power will be made of sturdier stuff than it was in previous years.  And some of us will accomplish or at least come nearer to the goals we have set for ourselves.  I might add that it is probably helpful to our self-esteem to set goals that are realistically achievable, as this is encouraging to the continuity of the process itself.  This blog post  contains a short history of new year’s resolutions and traditions and suggests writing down the goals, tracking your progress, and relying on friends to remind and support you along the path.  In fact, this site includes a page where you can record and track your goals.

While the ancient Babylonians modestly paid off old debts or returned borrowed items to turn a new leaf, the Romans offered promises of improved conduct to their two-faced god, Janus, at the beginning of the year.  As Janus was able to look backward into the past as well as into the future, this seems appropriate!

Here are a few recently published books available through DCPL that might help you focus and organize on your goals, or for those less goal oriented, to show gratitude and appreciation for self and the gifts you already enjoy.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dea Anne M January 7, 2014 at 3:02 PM

This is a lovely post, Rebekah and a good reminder of what is important in life. Thank you!

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