December brings with it varying emotions, running the gamut from excitement to grief, optimism to regret. It will always be a reminder that another year is drawing near. It is also a circling memento of the resolutions sought a mere 11 months ago.
This month becomes the nagging thorn of things not done.
There is no answer to why a New Year’s resolution list isn’t completed. Blame can be doled out to any number of distractions: the engrossing presidential election, unpredictable weather patterns, the Cubs reaching the World Series, season six of “Game of Thrones.” It could be that the resolutions were too ambitious, unattainable in every sense of the yearly exercise. Probably still, it’s likely the case that by February, resolutions had been placed in a catch-all kitchen drawer, their purgatory until reaching the trash can.
December isn’t a time to dwell on lost opportunities. Sulking in disappointment for lost time serves zero purpose. Resolutions tend to be a revolving-door of usual suspects. Read one book a month, work out three times a week, learn to play an instrument, organize the cluttered garage, place $25 from weekly paychecks into savings, these and every other good intention eventually makes an appearance.
New Year objectives can be a stunning look into someone’s desires. Unfortunately for the majority of resolutions, desire alone will not produce action.
This is why the rearview mirror must be dismantled in December. Pour passion and zeal into the remaining days. While reflection serves a healthy purpose, it should never take front seat over physical action. Cast excuses aside, no matter how legitimate they may be, and resist the coasting normally reserved for the end of the year. Instead of letting off the gas, push the pedal down and squeeze every last drop out of December.
While some simply leap from company holiday party to family gatherings to Netflix binges, make a new list of resolutions to guide the last few weeks. Treat month 12 as a standalone, detached chapter to rewrite and reshape 2016. It is always a spectacular sight observing a disheartening narrative complete an about-face. When one’s attitude begins to influence action, the resolution list will never be long enough.
As Jan. 1 creeps around the corner, one shouldn’t wait to begin improving themselves. Whether it’s volunteering, donating, abstaining or practicing, begin today and make it a priority. Nothing is as familiar as sitting around the Christmas tree, wishing goals were met and tasks were put to bed.
With the what-ifs circling the holidays, the apathy that accompanies failed attempts tends to linger. Fortunately for our sake, the ability to wash away this common December attribute will always remain in our own hands. Strive to close 2016 with optimistic spirits and proud accomplishments.
Jim Jackson of Frankfort is a freelance writer.