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Blog // Thoughts
January 8, 2007

New Year Resolution

I’ve been pondering the word, resolution, this week. Of course, we are familar at this time of year with New Year’s resolutions, which are expressions of one’s desire (resolve) to do or not do certain things with the intention of living a better, healthier, fuller, more holy or complete life. Often these are not just […]

I’ve been pondering the word, resolution, this week. Of course, we are familar at this time of year with New Year’s resolutions, which are expressions of one’s desire (resolve) to do or not do certain things with the intention of living a better, healthier, fuller, more holy or complete life. Often these are not just statements of future hope, but also admissions of past failing. Perhaps it is not surprising that many of us, aware of our past failings to keep these resolutions (our inability to be resolute) become suspect or even cynical about the whole exercise.

But the word resolution is a very rich one, with a host of other meanings besides decision and action. Take for example music, where resolution is an important concept in harmony. The movement of notes and chords of patterns of tension and release, or resolution is an important part of what makes music both interesting and emotionally compelling.

Resolution also implies harmony when we think of “peaceful resolution of conflict” or “resolution of a problem.” Moreover, resolution is also used in medicine to imply the sucessful treatment of a condition.

Of equal interest is the way resolution is used in science and technology. It can mean breaking something down into its component parts, or it can mean the degree of detail we can measure or perceive. It’s in this sense that we talk about the screen or display resolution of a computer monitor or television.

All of which makes me wonder if there some ways to rethink the tradition of new year’s resolutions, by expanding on how we think of the resolution aspect. After all, it is a natural tendency to reflect upon the past and reasses our future at this time of year, as we turn the biggest page in the calendar and evaluate our lives. This Christmas and New Year period is one where most of us reconnect with friends and family and by implication tell and retell our story.

Maybe part of the reason we fail to keep so many of our New Year Resolutions is in part because we lack enough resolution or detail in how we look at ourselves or maybe we lack the inner peace, harmony resolution to understand what we can and cannot achieve.

Perhaps the best New Year’s Resolution of all is simply to have more resolution?

[tags] New Year, Resolutions [/tags]

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