New year's resolutions intrigue me. They also confuse me.. why they are so popular that is. What makes January 1st so special anyway? Why not make resolutions when you start a new school year (that is, after all, the real beginning of a new adventure for the better part of our first twenty-some years, not the new year)? Why not when you become turn a year older? Isn't the reminder of mortality and age a good resolution-inducing wakeup call? What about every month? Most people's resolutions last less than a month anyway so perhaps setting smaller goals for ourselves would be better.

Speaking of only lasting a month...that is what really intrigues me about new year's resolutions. Often we are excited, determined, obsessed, or somewhere in between, about making and keeping resolutions. "No, this year I'm serious, I'm going to get in shape" or "No more video games, it's a waste of time." Why do we lose sight of our goals so fast? Is it our intrinsic desire to be lazy and content with where we are at? How can we be so into something and have it totally fade away so quickly. It's like when you go on a service project to a third-world country and you see all the poverty and devastation. You vow to make a difference, to not take things for granted. To write to the people. To help them when you get home. You re-commit your life to helping the needy more often. Then you get back home, and at first maybe you follow through with your commitments. You go out of your way to give food to some homeless person. You read news articles about the injustices going on around the world. But then days, perhaps weeks later, you are back to the normal routine of a spoiled and indifferent North American lifestyle.

I am definitely not exempt from this either. It is frustrating watching it happen to yourself. That's why many people say you shouldn't make new year's resolutions, if you are just going to break them in a month or less. But I say, make smaller goals for yourself. Get accountability partners, or better yet, find people that share your goals, your dreams. Rather than waiting til the new year, decide to make new goals or evaluate existing ones each month. Although it's a few days late, make this year's resolution be that you'll have less concerned with when you set your goals and more concerned about actually accomplishing them.