Webster defines the word as being “marked by firm determination”.
The word dominates every New Year’s Eve. Each year we resolve to change careers. Get healthy. Make new friends. Earn more money. Be patient. Be assertive. The list goes on, and in just a few hours we will walk through the same old ritual once again.
To the musician, a ‘resolution’ is a harmony line moving from a dissonant tone (one that does not fit the melody) to a consonant tone (one that fits). Harmonies can dance and amaze us with varied complexities for a while, but they must eventually resolve.
To the writer, a resolution is the end of a story, the final element of a twisting plot wrought with conflict, finally resolved to an ending where all is well.
To the chemist, it is the separation of a chemical compound back into its constituents, or simplest parts.
To the statesman, it is an expression of the determined will of an elected body.
To the graphic artist, it is the sharpness of the pixel count on a screen, and the quality of the image produced.
By any definition, a Resolution is characterized by a return to simplicity, a focus on sharp definition and determination, broken down to its simplest, most harmonious parts.
Without Resolution, art, science, government, and life in general all fall into chaos. Without resolution, there is no foundation on which to stand.
And so, out of the lights, parties, vacation and glory of December, we walk our resolutions back into the bland porridge everyday chill of January.
Out of the joys and regrets of the last 365 days, we have the chance to embrace a new, a corrected, and a more detailed path for the next lap around the Gregorian calendar.
For some of us, New Year Resolutions are a glaring exercise in futility, as we come back to watch the ball drop in Times Square, and realize we have the same resolutions as last year.
And the year before . .
And the year before . . .
And so New Year’s Eve, pregnant with opportunity, often gives way to regret for opportunity missed.
You know, it’s really time to change that.
We spend so much of our precious time on things that don’t matter. We argue about trivialities. We lose focus and are spread thin. We become frazzled, angry, ineffective and discouraged. We go to bed at night realizing that we are somehow missing out on the things that matter and wake up in the morning overwhelmed.
Or maybe it’s just me.
I am resolved to be a better husband. I am resolved to write more. I am resolved to learn more about things I don’t know. I am resolved to read through the Bible in a year. I am resolved to show the love of Christ without condemnation. I am resolved to grow and learn as a parent. I am resolved to be healthy in heart, soul, mind, and body. I am resolved to listen more than I speak. I am resolved to think more about those who are suffering, and less about my daily inconveniences. I am resolved to be content in all circumstances. I am resolved to do life better.
I have wanted these things in previous years and have fallen short. In previous years I have failed to see the big picture. In previous years I became overwhelmed, bitter, discouraged. I have had enough of that. Life is both fragile and fleeting. I refuse to slide into the back half of my life on cruise control. This year I am choosing to live life more abundantly. This year is not about wanting to do better. This year I accept nothing less. When the hoopla is over, when the days begin to settle into routine, this year will be different.
This year I am Resolved.