Now that the holiday season is behind us, we are all preparing to start 2021 with resolutions.
I am not a big fan of making New Year promises. I usually listen with some amusement at the variety of resolutions that my friends and family make. Most of the time, they are the ‘Big 3’ as I call them: Lose weight, stop smoking or get a better job.
I won’t say that I’m immune to wanting to better myself, or improve my health. I’m currently trying to quit smoking, although this is not just a New Year’s Resolution. This is just common sense.
I find that most resolutions seem to fall away within a month of making them. So last New Year, I made a different kind of resolution. Last year, my resolution was to learn a new skill.
Rather than try to lose my winter beer belly or get mad at myself for not being able to stop smoking again, I wanted to make a promise to myself to do something that I could be proud of.
So when the town placed an ad for firefighters, I volunteered. I was lucky enough to be accepted, and now I am proud to serve my community as a volunteer firefighter. The training is hard, but very valuable. My fellow firefighters are friendly, welcoming and very knowledgable.
That I was able to follow through on such a simple promise, and learn the skills necessary to do it, not only changed my life, but it gave me other benefits. I feel like I am in better shape, I feel more confident and I am generally in a more social mood.
If resolutions are promises to be kept to yourself, then I highly recommend making a promise that you can be proud of. Don’t make the same ones you may have made in the past and were unable to complete.
I think that making the pledge to learn a new skill or a new talent is always a good plan. Learn to fish, learn a new instrument, learn to fix a clock, or even become a firefighter.
This year my resolution is to learn a new skill again. I hate swimming, but maybe I’d like scuba diving. It would take a lot of practice, and I’d have to overcome my fear of deep water, but still, I might look into it. Maybe I’ll see you there.
Until then, Happy New Year!
J. René Roy is a seasoned freelance book editor, volunteer firefighter, trained photographer, fisherman and diehard Montreal Canadiens hockey fan. You can contact him via twitter as @hfxhabby or by sending an e-mail to: email@example.com.