Staff Writer - Katrin Callender

There is a superstition that has kept me busy every Christmas break for as long as I can remember. It is the idea that if one does not clean the house before New Year’s Day, one would have a dirty home throughout the year that followed. So the vacation from school was spent cleaning and dusting and washing just about everything that we could reach or find. And a great sigh of relief was uttered when the day finally reached and we could be sure that we were not condemned to messy surroundings. I have since noticed that the idea, whether accurate or not, has applications outside of household chores.

Every year people all over the world make resolutions for the New Year. It is a long standing tradition. But I believe it is also because we understand the importance of planning our steps forward and more so of being resolute. We have to decide that we want to attain a particular goal before we can hope to do so. When we are resolved to accomplish these goals we generate ideas, we strategize, we seek encouragement or motivate ourselves and, and we evaluate our progress.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

Too often though, we hear about those who have not been successful, breaking their resolutions. This should not make us panic. Their reasons are their own and their actions may be explained by any number of things.  The fact is, not everyone is successful the first time they attempt some things. No doubt we have all found, or will find that a new task or commitment is challenging and that we risk disappointment once we attempt it. Yet we are rewarded in the attempt, having gained experience and knowledge. It is important that the goals set are what we truly want or those which will benefit us.

Additionally, we must focus on every step of the journey from generating ideas to evaluating our process.  We must ask ourselves what our ideas are, what inspired them and whether we have attempted them before. We must assess or goals. We must review past mistakes in rationale or execution.  Like the superstition suggests, we can drag our past into the future if we are not careful. It can follow us if we do not identify our strengths and work to enhance them, and ascertain our weaknesses in order to prepare for them.

So, “out with the old and in with the new” as they say. Stack up those dreams and aspirations, give them a polish and renew your efforts, confident that you will not be condemned to staggering through a mess.