Resolutions for A New Year and a New Decade, When Hope is Hard

by Dr. Patricia Yarberry Allen

New Year’s resolutions are made and broken by most people soon after the list is made. It is often difficult to imagine how to make a resolution that will change either the big or small things that are impeding growth personally, in relationships, or at work. It is hard to comprehend how to do things in a better way, how to give up old habits that no longer work and how to find new ones that can add happiness and health to one’s life. Making New Year’s resolutions is especially difficult when we have just ended a decade of the greatest economic turbulence in a century. Loss of jobs, loss of confidence in the economy and the financial system has had an unexpected and far reaching impact on the lives of almost everyone. The social network provided by the federal, state, and local governments and the many charities that have contributed to the care of those who are without work, homes, food , healthcare or hope has become frayed, stressed by the fallout of economic losses in all sectors and all parts of our country.

This environment alone could prevent most people from the annual exercise of optimism based on the belief that we can make choices that will improve our lives if we resolve to do so on New Year’s Day. It is hard to search for new ways of living, in this time of chaos and uncertainty, in order to find a clearer understanding of what constitutes a meaningful life.
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