Here we are, at the start of a magical new year, full of hope, promise and disease (I’ll explain that last part in a moment.)
I’ve been unusually interested in making New Year’s resolutions this time. Heaven knows that I have some bad habits that can be turned good and some good habits that can be turned better. Plus, lately I’ve been stumbling into all kinds of great articles on how to get your resolutions to stick. Most of the advice I’ve read has boiled down to two main ideas:
1.) Be open about your resolutions. Public resolutions are more likely to succeed than secret ones because your friends and well-wishers can support you and help keep temptation out of your way. (These articles didn’t mention the shame of failing in front of all these people you just talked yourself up to, but I’m sure that’s a factor.)
2.) Set goals you can measure. For example, a resolution to eat a better diet is kind of vague, but a resolution to serve kale twice a week and skip at least one dessert has measurable results, and a better chance of success.
Since I’ve just advocated going public with your resolutions, I’ll confess that mine is to keep better track of my time. I suspect I’m wasting too much of it in my current routine. So, I’ve talked about this resolution to me friends, family and anyone else who’ll listen. I’ve drawn up charts and calendars to track my hours and progress in my various jobs and chores. I’ve sworn off some time-wasting activities and even devised some plans to put a cap on web surfing.
And when January 1, 2014 came around and I was finally ready to spring my plans into action…I got sick. Twice.
Around 10:00am, on New Year’s Day, I realized that I was coming down with a bad cold/cough. On January 2, I woke up with flu-like symptoms.These two illnesses had teamed up to keep me in a sick bed for the next three days. I have been unable to do much of anything besides sleep and waste time while my carefully made charts have slid further into the red.
But I am not about to quit and throw away a perfectly good resolution just because of a rough start. (Most of my best projects have had rough starts.) I can solve this problem simply by bending time a little bit. In other words, I am declaring a New Year’s Do Over. 
A New Year’s Do Over? How does it work? 
On January 10, everyone who chooses to participate has the option of restarting their resolutions, treating January 10 as if it were January 1 (resolution-wise – I don’t have time to clean up another party). Why the tenth? Because it’s a friendly, round number and I want to give people a chance to spread the word about the do-over. Besides, while traditional start of resolutions on January 1 New Year’s is a bit like hitting a wall, the January 10 do-over gives you a few days to ramp up at you own pace, like that stretch of road they give you to merge onto the highway before you have to keep up with traffic.
I’ve been told that there is a great deal of illness going around, what with everyone being so social during the holidays, so if any of you other poor, afflicted sick people also need another shot at New Year’s, here’s your chance. If you’ve already broken your resolutions for any other reason, you too can start fresh on the tenth. Kept your resolution, but wish you’d written it differently? Consider it your ten-day test drive, then start your revised resolutions on January 10.
Yes, New Year’s Do-Over Day: the first* of many holidays I will spontaneously invent as the need arises. Tell your friends!
-Marj

*Not actually the first.