New Year's Revolutions

When my son was little, instead of “New Year’s Resolutions,” he used to say New Year’s Revolutions. I think his way of saying it probably makes more sense anyways. At least in the sense of intention. Do you ever get the feeling around this time of year that you are going to change your life in a dramatic way? That you will finally get around to being the person that you’ve always dreamed of being?

Or are you cynical and shrug your shoulders at the thought of any great changes occurring simply because it’s a new calendar year?

So tell me what, if any, revolutions you’re plotting? And do you have any special way of ringing in the new year? Do you stay up and watch the ball drop or do you party long into the night with friends? What does New Year’s mean to you?


Jana is a university administrator and teaches History. Her soloblog is

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  1. Kaimi says:

    Good question, Jana. I tend to make lists, now and then, of what I need to do — and New Years is as good a time as any for this. My own Revolutions are usually (always?) grander in planning than in execution, but a list of potential revolutions might include:

    -Finish grading exams. (Okay, this is a pre-New-Year’s resolution . . .).
    -Finish two articles, both currently in draft stage, and get them out and published. Finish editing another that’s in edits right now.
    -Finish a few creative writing projects that I’ve been postponing. (You know about one of these).
    -Finish a Mormon studies article that I’ve got in draft stage. Send it to the usual suspects. If I’m really ambitious, finish two of these.

    -Play the piano more often.
    -Play guitar more often.
    -Practice a few times with the other guy in the ward who plays, since we both keep saying “let’s get together and play some songs.” If we’re really ambitious, get a few songs down good, and then go hit an open mike night someplace.
    -Read the instruction manual for my camera. Learn to take better pictures. Learn to use all the settings, not just auto-focus point-and-shoot.

    -Read more books with my kids.
    -Help more on their homework.
    -Help them on writing.
    -Help my wife on her homework. (That’s pretty much guaranteed.)
    -Go on regular dates with my wife.
    -Spend time with the kids regularly.

    -Do my home teaching.
    -Learn more about my spirituality.
    -Read about spirituality.
    -Write my experiences and thoughts, and see how they fit together and how they fit into my life.
    -Avoid bad habits.
    -Try not to get angry or lose my temper as much.
    -Notice beauty around me.

    -Get in better shape.
    -Eat less junk food.
    -Start running again. (It’s been a nice relaxing several months now of little-to-no running).
    -Run a 10k in less than [my embarrassing time from last time I ran].

    -E-mail or call friends and family more often.

    -Develop a better budget.
    -Pay down some credit cards.

    -And overall: Continue to try to become a better person, husband, father, lover, son, friend, writer, student, teacher, composer, speaker, ward member, and neighbor.

    That’s it – hmm, a bit daunting to read over. Now, I’m back to exams.

  2. Caroline says:

    I love your list! Thanks for sharing.

    Jana, I’m one of the cynical ones that has never made a new years resolutions. And I have no special way of ringing in the new year, sadly. I did buy some Martinellis that I was planning to crack open sometime tonight. (I doubt we’ll make it until midnight.)

    But I do like the idea of resolutions. Here are some off the cuff ones:

    -Speak up more.
    -Write letters to senators, religious leaders, etc. about things that concern me, rather than just gripe privately about them.
    -Read some books that will inspire me to start praying again.
    -Keep the house cleaner for poor Mike’s sake.
    -Be more organized.
    -Search out and come up with some fun, innovative techniques and ideas to teach Latin.
    – Eat less, exercise more.
    – Be nicer to Mike.
    – Take my dogs on walks more.
    – Clean out my closets.
    -Buy less stuff.
    -Be more politically active.
    -Keep in touch with friends better.

  3. Tanya Sue says:

    I normally do my resolutions in October for my birthday, however this year I didn’t so I am doing them for new years.

    -Reclaim the pieces of my life I have lost in the last 3 years due to health issues
    -Becoming stronger physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc.
    -Finish the writing project I started
    -Become more social in general
    -Figure out what I actually believe
    -Figure out what I feel I am missing in my life and work to fill that void
    -Get my website to sell the jewelry I make up and running (I did finally choose a name, yeah!)
    -Finally, become more patient with those who bug the crap out of me because they refuse to think for themselves

    I am curious to see if I have actually done any of these a month from now….New Year’s doesn’t do it for me so perhaps I will work on one of them tonight

  4. Anonymous says:

    Tanya Sue, How do you know they refuse to think for themselves? I have been accused of that because what I think does not agree with what the speaker thinks but/or does agree with some “authority” figure. Just wondering if maybe what they think is what bugs you rather than knowing that they don’t think for themselves. Off the soapbox, I think my resolution this year will be to try harder to be the person I want to be rather than coast along being the person I’ve always been. Big job but worth a try.

  5. Tanya Sue says:

    Generally you can tell when someone does not think for themselves when they agree with virtually everything being said in every conversation they have-even if the conversation they were having 10 minutes before (and were agreeing with everything in)was the polar opposite of what they are saying before. They take on the position of whomever they are with at that second. Does that help?

  6. Tanya Sue says:

    correction, I meant to say when the things they were saying in the conversation 10 minuites before is the polar opposite of what they are saying now. For the record, I don’t mean this happens occasionally, I have some people in my life where this happens all of the time.

    For the record, I think when someone disagrees with anyone it is usually a sign they are, at least to some extent, thinking for themselves. Especially if they are disagreeing with the general consensus in the room.

    I truly welcome opnions that are contrary to mine because it forces me to reconsider my opinion-even if their opinion is something I completely disagree with. It forces me to think on a deeper level and always provides a great level of understanding.

    If I offended you, I apologize.

  7. Tatiana says:

    Oh there are so many areas I can work on! It’s hard to focus on a few.

    I want to love people more, and care about them more. I want to lose my fear of them which I learned very young from being abused. I’m ready to heal from that now and accept people completely and truly love them.

    I want to love myself more, to grow into my role as a god much more. I have all the tools I need. It’s up to me now to take the next step.

    I want to reclaim the energy that belongs to me when I’m healthier. I’ll do this by taking extra good care of myself, eating only what enhances me, and accepting nothing that harms me. I will exercise physically and mentally every day to gain access to more abilities, stretch myself, grow.

    I will limit my computer time to the optimum amount that brings joy.

    I will get to sleep on time so that I am at my best during the day.

    I will pray often, to bring the divine more into my daily life.

    I think that’s plenty to be going on with!

  8. Tanya Sue says:

    Tatiana, thank you so much for posting that. It is beautiful!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Tatiana – Thanks for cues on “I will” statements. I’ll incorporate that language into my “revolutions” this year!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Tanya Sue, thanks for the explanation, it made perfect sense and I appreciate your taking time to clarify. Tatiana, beautifully said, may I borrow from your resolutions? To everyone, thanks for the things I learn on this blog it enriches my thinking.

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