Whether the wise old adage is used — verbally or in print — on Jan. 1, mid-June or the first day of autumn, its message is the same.
Some might see it as an over-used cliche. We do not.
That’s because it accents the potential, and the positive, in everyone’s life, especially those who are committed to making a change — whether material, emotional or spiritual.
When making a change, it is crucial that such change is being sought for the right reasons, that this is what the person wants, and not what others want of him.
Most call them New Year’s resolutions.
Some believe in them.
Some heckle them.
Some approach them half-heartedly.
Some give them an unprecedented priority.
We do not sit in judgment of New Year’s resolutions, of those who seek to attain them nor of those whose noble efforts fall short.
Besides, a New Year’s resolution — and its success or failure — is a matter of perception. What some may see as failure, others may see as a mere shortfall, one that can be overcome with just a little more time and slightly more determined effort.
We are reminded of the Hollywood classic “Hoosiers,” a 1986 sports film about a boys basketball team in a rural, small-town high school whose eight players overcame unimaginable odds to win the coveted Indiana state championship. Early in their season, the team struggled to compete with larger schools and against more talented players. But they persevered.
In the movie trailers leading up to the cinema’s premier, the narrator’s voice-over said of the undersized Hickory Huskies, “All they needed was a second chance.”
A new coach and a renewed commitment gave the Huskies that chance. The tiny town embraced his cause and the players responded.
It wasn’t easy; nothing worth achieving ever is.
It took hard work.
It took group focus.
It took an established goal.
It took a willingness to sacrifice.
It took incredible perseverance.
It took shared commitment.
It took a new perspective.
It took change.
And it took an inner strength to accept change as the first step toward self-improvement ... as defined by those seeking to change, and no one else.
Funny thing about winning high school basketball championships by using the aforementioned criteria. The same tools can be used for New Year’s resolutions.
If it’s worth doing, it’s worth expending the energy to do.
If it’s worth trying, it’s worth leaving it all on the floor in the try.
If it’s worth attaining, it’s worth understanding the need for discipline.
And if it’s worth your time, then it should be about “you” and the “you” that “you” wish to become.
What are your resolutions? Do you have any? If not, it makes you no less of a good person. It simply means on this day you have priorities other than change.
The types of resolutions made Wednesday around this world — and within our own little world called Cleveland and Bradley County — probably don’t outnumber the particles of sand on a beach. But their variation likely is as diverse as the people who make them.
Obviously, some of the most common are weight loss, increased physical exercise, reduced use of alcohol or total abstinence, cessation of smoking and other harmful tobacco products, debt reduction, more quality time with family, save more for retirement, improved organization skills, taking more time to smell the roses and enjoy life, and renewed commitment to community and philanthropy.
We will revisit these on New Year’s Day.
So we ask again, “What are yours?”
If you have none because you are comfortable with being you, then consider this one: Help others to achieve theirs.
Such an action can be a win-win.
You have made a difference in the life of another. And that difference is the potential realization of a dream for someone else, thanks in part to you.