Here’s to the resolvers

Now that we’re in the seventh week of the new year – how have things been going with your New Year resolutions so far? 

I hope your answer is, “Great!” If not, keep reading, because I have some good news for you.

You know, there are a lot of people who think that New Year’s resolutions are dumb, and are critical of folks who do them. 

I say, if someone’s trying to make their own and their loved one’s lives better, shouldn’t we be cheering them on?

If your New Year’s resolution was to have no New Year’s resolution, well, congratulations – you’ve already achieved perfection.

But for the other 7.8 billion or so of us who consider ourselves less than perfect, taking action to improve ourselves seems like a pretty good idea.  

We all know that starting a resolution on Jan. 1 is just an excuse to do something  better, to make a change. 

But maybe you’ve run aground on your goal. You shot for the moon, but ended up in front of the TV watching Big Bang Theory.

No problem. 

I was reading about Ulysses S. Grant the other day. One of his great qualities as a commander in the Civil War was his resilience. He knew that his plans would sometimes fall apart. When they did, he changed his plans to meet the new reality. 

“In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten,” Grant wrote. “Then he who continues the attack wins.”

Sometimes you have to back up, reorient yourself. Maybe you won’t run a marathon this summer. Maybe you won’t build your deck in a week. Maybe you won’t have a whole day free to clean and organize your entire house. 

But you know what? You can probably can find five minutes to continue the attack. And here’s the thing.

• Five minutes of exercise is 100% better than no exercise.

• Five minutes of working on a project is 100% better than not working on the project.

• Five minutes spent cleaning out one drawer is 100% better than cleaning nothing at all.

There’s no point in wishing that we started doing things differently a month ago, a year ago or a decade ago. That’s spilt milk. 

And there’s no point to wanting to do something perfectly. That’s a trap. 

What we can do – and it’s a lot – is to do something right now. It might be a small thing. But it’s a start. Better than that: it’s a beginning.

Mike Gainor is the editor of the Pine City Pioneer. Contact him at or 320-322-5241.


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