From Thanksgiving through the end of December, the holidays emphasize togetherness, spending time with friends and family. We sit down at the table, savoring food and drink, with our loved ones. We are in a charitable mood, giving to help the less fortunate. We look outward from ourselves, caring more about the others in our lives. This is one of my favorite aspects of the holidays, and it is an aspect which should be extended through the entire year. It is not something that should be limited to the holiday season.
Yet as soon as New Year's Day arrives, many people forget all of that. That sense of togetherness gets discarded. People start looking inward, starting with their New Year's Resolution. Those resolutions are usually individual changes, which only affect that person. They are often selfish desires and concerns for family, friends and others are pushed to the wayside. That cheery holiday spirit from November and December vanishes, to be replaced with a gloomier look at individual faults.
So why do we start the New Year thinking only about ourselves? That is not a proper pathway to maintain the community spirit we held the previous month. It does not promote a charitable spirit. We should be resolving to maintaining the feelings we cherished in December. We should resolve to maintain that same feeling of togetherness we recently held. There is no reason for selfishness.
There is certainly nothing wrong with trying to better ourselves but do we really need to make it a special resolution? Especially as it seems such resolutions often do not last more than a couple months anyways. Instead, don't start the New Year thinking about yourself. Start it by thinking about others, and then you can also worry about your own imperfections. Continue to act as you did in November and December, and don't change just because January begins.
Rather than worrying about a new diet, share a meal with friends and family. In the end, your family and friends are worth far more than a few extra pounds. If you are going to diet though, then do so with someone else. A joint effort has been shown to be more successful than an individual effort. In fact, almost any individual resolution will be far more successful if you are doing it with someone else.
I will work on my own faults and flaws in 2010, but primary in my mind will be maintaining that spirit of togetherness from the holidays. I won't make any individual resolutions as I see no need. I will share my food and wine with friends and family, and give to those in need. I will try not to be selfish.