New Year Resolution: Where Art Thou Headed?

December 30, 2021

The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective” – G. K. Chesterton, English writer (1872- 1933).

On top of resolutions for New Year is alcohol and its votary is often in a quandary about kicking his constant companion and he confronts a Hemletian dilemma.

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune;
Or to take arms against the sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?”
- William Shakespeare, English dramatic poet (1564-1616) in Hamlet.

Many of us turn Hamlets when the New Year or any other personal landmark, like birthday, approaches, with internal and external pressure to make resolutions to purge weaknesses and embrace virtues. Actually, in the case of Indians, there are so many New Year’s beyond the Christian, more specifically Gregorian, calendar. There are other landmarks suitable for making resolutions. One’s own birthdays, wedding anniversaries or such landmarks of spouses, children, parents, girl-friends and boy-friends. For it is human to be seen as looking good and virtuous in the eyes of others. But, the Bible notes, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Incidentally, when this phrase was fed to an early version of Russian computer for translation, it spewed out: “The vodka is good, but the meat is stale.”

What are we going to resolve about? These subjects are on the top of the pile – drinking, smoking, gambling, nagging and these days of waist control, insensible eating. I will only deal with drinking here with my resolution not to bite more than I can chew. But, before that I will question the need for resolutions, as Shakespeare did in Hamlet. Nathaniel Hawthorne, US novelist (1804-1864) says: “In truth there is no such thing in man’s nature as settled and full resolve either for good or evil, except at the very moment of execution.”

That moment of execution should be here and now, and not an instant landmark like the New Year. Most of our resolution relate to giving up addiction to liquor, tobacco, gambling and such other vices, which hold men (“men” embrace women) in their vicious grip. The introduction to these vices is often on an innocent note (social drinking, relax with cigarette, gamble for fun) but parting becomes difficult before one discovers one’s deep addiction. Then comes the agonizing struggle for which resolutions seem to offer the most fashionable way out. May be fashionable but not productive. For, resolutions are, by and large, escapist. They are substitutes for action. For, resolutions postpone action, for a landmark, which otherwise ought to be taken pronto.

John Sheldon, US jurist and author (1584-1654) warns us: “Never tell your resolution beforehand”. And since resolutions spring from the heart and not often broadcast in advance, the resolutionist feel free to pass up one landmark after another and go further down the road of no return. Thus, resolutions anchored to a landmark - like birthdays and New Year - are counter-productive. Further, resolutions are based on a person’s unduly high opinion of himself/herself.

According to a saying, a great journey begins with the first step. But, such practical ideas are of no use to the resolutionist. One cannot give up drinks, for instance, on November1/2, All Saint’s Day/ All Souls Day, when the resolution is scheduled to be made on New Year Day, though one does hope to kick off the habit on the stroke after 60 days of further addiction. The man of action would have opted for Nov1/2 – but the escapist has to wait for the crutch of New Year Day.

Coming back to drinking, it is the moronic, spoil-sport kill-joys that bay for its ban. Even the Bible (Corinthians XV 32) exhorts: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die”. An old English song (1621), possibly originated in a drinking den, says:

Drinking will make a man quaff,
Quaffing will make a man sing,
Singing will make a man laugh,
And laughing long life doth bring
Says old Simon the King.





By John B Monteiro
To submit your article / poem / short story to Daijiworld, please email it to mentioning 'Article/poem submission for daijiworld' in the subject line. Please note the following:

  • The article / poem / short story should be original and previously unpublished in other websites except in the personal blog of the author. We will cross-check the originality of the article, and if found to be copied from another source in whole or in parts without appropriate acknowledgment, the submission will be rejected.
  • The author of the poem / article / short story should include a brief self-introduction limited to 500 characters and his/her recent picture (optional). Pictures relevant to the article may also be sent (optional), provided they are not bound by copyright. Travelogues should be sent along with relevant pictures not sourced from the Internet. Travelogues without relevant pictures will be rejected.
  • In case of a short story / article, the write-up should be at least one-and-a-half pages in word document in Times New Roman font 12 (or, about 700-800 words). Contributors are requested to keep their write-ups limited to a maximum of four pages. Longer write-ups may be sent in parts to publish in installments. Each installment should be sent within a week of the previous installment. A single poem sent for publication should be at least 3/4th of a page in length. Multiple short poems may be submitted for single publication.
  • All submissions should be in Microsoft Word format or text file. Pictures should not be larger than 1000 pixels in width, and of good resolution. Pictures should be attached separately in the mail and may be numbered if the author wants them to be placed in order.
  • Submission of the article / poem / short story does not automatically entail that it would be published. Daijiworld editors will examine each submission and decide on its acceptance/rejection purely based on merit.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to edit the submission if necessary for grammar and spelling, without compromising on the author's tone and message.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to reject submissions without prior notice. Mails/calls on the status of the submission will not be entertained. Contributors are requested to be patient.
  • The article / poem / short story should not be targeted directly or indirectly at any individual/group/community. Daijiworld will not assume responsibility for factual errors in the submission.
  • Once accepted, the article / poem / short story will be published as and when we have space. Publication may take up to four weeks from the date of submission of the write-up, depending on the number of submissions we receive. No author will be published twice in succession or twice within a fortnight.
  • Time-bound articles (example, on Mother's Day) should be sent at least a week in advance. Please specify the occasion as well as the date on which you would like it published while sending the write-up.

Comment on this article

  • KRPrabhu, Bangaluru/Mangalore

    Thu, Jan 06 2022

    ...Late realisation is welcome.

  • Ben D'Souza Prabhu, Mangalore, Bombay Bandra now in Canada

    Sat, Jan 01 2022

    A Very Happy New Year to you dear Mr John B Monteiro ! Good Luck and God Bless you !!!

  • Rohan, Mangalore

    Fri, Dec 31 2021

    Happy New year to you . Every day is a new year , a new day and a new life. We need not wait for new year to make resolutions. A firm mind can make a change for better any day. But we are bound by habit and tradition to make a resolution on new year day. Also the environment and euphoria around makes it easy to have a change of mind which appeals to the senses. Take care. Have a healthy happy year ahead.

Leave a Comment

Title: New Year Resolution: Where Art Thou Headed?

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.