Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | December 31, 2014

Temporal Landmarks

Regardless of how you personally feel about New Year’s resolutions, many people will give some consideration to how they can make a fresh start at the beginning of the new year. We tend to be more open to making resolutions — those decisions we make to do or not do something — at certain times on the calendar like the start of a new year, a new month, a new week, or even a birthday. These temporal landmarks beckon us to refocus our thinking and to reflect a little more deeply about how we can and should reorient our conduct.

Temporal landmarks are important because they give us the opportunity to reflect on the actualities of the past and the possibilities of the future. January 1 is a significant temporal landmark. The month of January is named for Janus, the Roman god of doors and gateways. Janus was usually depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions — one to the past and one to the future. The first day of the new year invites us to look back to take inventory and to look ahead to consider how the future can look different than the past.

Temporal landmarks are also important because they offer us opportunities for fresh starts, second chances, and new beginnings. Fresh starts have a way of giving new meaning to life. Second chances can invigorate us with the resolve to do better and go farther than we ever have. New beginnings can infuse us with purpose, energy, and the determination to walk through doors and gateways that lead to new challenges.

We should keep in mind that a temporal landmark is simply a starting point from which to begin anew but not a guarantee that we will actually follow-through on what we resolve to do. If we make a resolution to do or not do something, then we must intentionally make the choices that keep us on track. At its core, life is about choices. If we make resolutions, then we should also consider what it will take to maintain them.

In just a few hours, we will step across the threshold into a new year — a blank slate on which to write the next chapters of our respective narratives. Regardless of whether you make a single resolution, a list of resolutions, or no resolution, determine to at least observe these simple guidelines to ensure that you make good decisions throughout the year. Determine to always honor God, love others, take risks, do something hard, consider how you can encourage others, don’t make excuses, and don’t waste time. Make the most of every opportunity to seize the day throughout the new year.

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