To Resolve or Not to Resolve, That is the Question

Jan 22, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Community, Jim Mulligan, Reedley News

by Jim Mulligan

In doing the research for my article last month about tamales, I was quite surprised that some form of tamale has been cooked and eaten for about ten-thousand years. On the flip side, it is interesting sometimes how new some traditions can be; for example, the use of the color blue for boys and pink for girls is less than one-hundred years old. We humans are quite good at carrying on traditions, even if they evolve over the years. As the new year rang in – Is it really 2022? – I wondered about the tradition of making resolutions for the new year.

As it turns out, resolutions at the beginning of the new year are nothing new. A simple internet search reveals that the first known recorded resolutions for a new year were made by the ancient Babylonians about 4000 years ago. For the Babylonians, a society heavily focused on agriculture, it may not be surprising that their calendar year began at the Vernal Equinox. The beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere is a very logical time for beginning anew for the Babylonians. Also, not surprising, but slightly humorous, is that many of their resolutions included returning borrowed farm equipment to the rightful owner. In essence, the new year was a time to set things right and get off to a good start.

Whether we need to return a borrowed lawn mower or just reset our eating habits after a gluttonous holiday season, our current new year’s resolution tradition can serve as a good time to reset our lives. I personally don’t make absolute resolutions, but just like my chickens who like clockwork begin their new egg-laying cycle as the new year begins, I definitely reevaluate my habits and goals as the new cycle begins. I was curious to know how my fellow Reedleyites looked at the beginning of the year as it pertains to making new or resetting their goals. I asked a few if they made resolutions and this is what they said:

Jenny Graber-Peters and family

“I do not make new year’s resolutions. I have often thought of them like a diet; you have the best of intentions but then life gets in the way, you don’t succeed, and then often feel like you’ve failed. Instead I like to choose a verse or word for the year that keeps me focused and reminds me of what’s most important. Often what happens is that my verse, word, or phrase evolves and changes as my life changes throughout the year, and I end up with several post-its of wisdom around my home and office.” —Jenny Graber-Peters

“Typically, I don’t make a formal new year’s resolution. As a general rule I try to do better, be a better person and show God’s love through my interactions in daily life – key word try. Some days I do a better job of it than others. Although If someone wanted to pray for me, I could use some for more exercise, to save money, learn a new skill, get organized, spend more family time, or live life to the fullest. I would accept all of those. Or maybe we should just live life to the fullest every day that we are able and skip the resolutions.” —Neil Thonesen

I can’t say that I make new year’s resolutions because life is consistently changing, and the commitment to do or not do something may indeed change overnight. However, when it comes to business or personal goals, I do outline an annual plan to reach them because Goals involve intention setting, planning, preparing, and taking REALISTIC action. My goals are to grow the business and learn another language in 2022.” —Jose Plascencia

Jose Plascencia with friends and family

I make new year’s resolutions every year. My 2022 new year’s resolution is to do everything better, be a better husband, father, brother, friend, and now a small bistro owner. I want to inspire and encourage people to stay in the fight and never give in or give up on their dreams. Everything is possible as long as you’re willing to go that extra mile.” —Erik Schuk

“Sometimes I make new year’s resolutions because it’s an opportunity to challenge myself and come up with a new idea or goal. This year I’m thinking about painting one iconic landmark in Reedley every month.” —Carrie Taves

“I don’t make new year’s resolutions because I never keep them. The spirit of the season does give cause for me to reflect on whether or not I’ve been a good friend and a good citizen. I generally try to give more than I take and, though I am not a religious person, I try to follow the ‘Golden Rule’ and remind myself that whatever accomplishments or successes I had were because I had some help along the way.” —Mark Luzania

Erik Valencia

“For me, the coming of the new year is a great time for reflection on the past year, so I do make new year’s resolutions on how I’d like to improve. I tend to be fairly broad in my resolutions as I think sometimes people get too specific and are discouraged when they fail. My resolutions this year are to work on better balancing my work and home life. This includes focusing more on my health.” —Erik Valencia

Nicole Zeiba on While Mountain

“I don’t do new year’s resolutions. I’m naturally a very goal-oriented person. If I need to accomplish something, if I need to change, then I’m going to start immediately and get it done. That’s how I lost forty pounds, hiked the highest peak in the continental U.S., and got my Master’s degree. Just go get it done!” —Nicole Zieba

The year 2022 is defiantly well under way, as unbelievable as it may seem. At least if we take advice from our fellow citizens, while an official resolution may or may not be helpful in getting on track for the new year, taking stock and setting goals is definitely in order. Whether you do it now or periodically throughout the year, may your days be productive and your farm equipment be returned. Happy New Year!

Be sure to check out more Reedley articles in our Reedley category.

Jim Mulligan is a 6th generation Californian, born and raised in Selma. He has been employed in Reedley on and off for the last twenty-plus years. He married his college sweetheart, a Reedley-ite, Kristi. They now reside in Reedley. They have five children. Jim loves to create Bonsai, ride his motorcycle, and travel as much as possible, both near and far. He works at Reedley College.

1 Comment

  1. It wonderful to read about others and their resolutions for a new year. I don’t make them, partially because I never can stick to them so I feel a loser when I can’t live up to my goals. All I can hope for is that I can get done all the projects I’ve started. Oh, and that I, and my loved ones, make it through the year.


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