Writers Reflect on the New Year: Top Ten Resolutions and Observations

Another year, come and gone.  Here are ten reflections from writers thinking about the future and dealing with their pasts:

10.  Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink and swore his last oath.  Today, we are a pious and exemplary community.  Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever.  ~ Mark Twain

9. “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

8. I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me. ~ Anais Nin

7.  Every man should be born again on the first day of January.  Start with a fresh page.  Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past. ~ Henry Ward Beecher

6.  Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past.  Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.  ~ Brooks Atkinson

5.  The only way to spend New Year’s Eve is either quietly with friends or in a brothel.  Otherwise when the evening ends and people pair off, someone is bound to be left in tears.  ~W.H. Auden

4. For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
~T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”

3.  “No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference. It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left. It is the nativity of our common Adam.” ~ Charles Lamb

2. “The new year begins in a snow-storm of white vows.” ~ George William Curtis

1.  “Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.” ~ Oscar Wilde