“A solution to a problem” is the direct definition of the word “resolution.” The term “resolution” is frequently used during this time of year, during the new beginning, the start of a new year. When this time comes around, we sit down, take a pen and paper and write down our New Year’s resolution. In other words, the solution to our so-called problems.
But are we truly seeking answers to our lives or are we just hoping to use this fresh start to spark new motivation? The most popular New Year's resolutions consist of losing weight, quitting smoking and spending more time with family, which all sound a lot more like goals than solutions.
Setting personal goals is healthy for personal growth. However, I don’t think they should be counted as a New Year’s resolutions, as an answer to a problem. Instead, I think New Year’s resolutions should be used to focus on real problems, collective problems. They say when the year is close to its end, we should sit back and reflect on what has just gone by. However, we shouldn’t only be reflecting on our own journey, but that of the world around us.
This world could use many solutions to many problems. And we should accentuate this New Year's resolution as an opportunity to better our world rather than ourselves. If this change of date is collectively so important, then we should be opportunistic and use it as leverage to make big changes: separating your waste properly, diminishing your consumption of our finite resources, doing something for your home community, whatever it is that you can do to make a small change for a huge cause.
Nothing stops you from using this start of a new year to get your life back on track, reconnect with your loved ones and recentre yourself. However, let’s take this chance where millions are incented to be better and make a big change. So every year we should sit down, take a pen and paper and write down ways we can support our environment, help resolve societal issues and better what’s around us for the time it is still here. Because these are urgent problems we absolutely need a resolution for.
As Oprah Winfrey once said, “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”