New Year’s Eve wouldn’t be such a big deal if so many people didn’t have a soft spot for second chances and blank pages. It’s the ideal holiday for those of us who find an irrational amount of comfort at the sight of the calendar's last page.
What other seasonal celebration comes with an expectation to set the tone for the entire remaining 360-ish days?
Its rituals range from wearing red undies to attract love, or cramming a grape for each of the last 12 seconds of the year, to crossing the street while holding a suitcase to bring luck in traveling.
But New Year’s resolutions remain a favorite tradition for their practicality and because they present a melding of our present selves with our hopes for becoming better versions of ourselves.
To honor this metaphorical blank page (brought to us by Pope Gregory XIII’s ever-popular calendar system), Sky Blue Window asked a variety of artists and creatives to share their personal goals, reflections and resolutions for 2016.
Phillip Powers, The Doo! Band & multi-instrumentalist for Blonde Entertainment.
- Phillip Powers
For my New Year's resolution I want to promote kindness, sharing, peace and nonjudgmental coexistence. I want to bring together people from every social class, race, belief system ... in any situation that I can.
Music has always been my most comfortable platform, but I'd like for that kind of social harmony also to transcend outside of it.
Positivity and negativity are both very contagious and very real. I intend to spread the positive and help build the community. These aren't necessarily new goals for me, but they're ones I'm definitely going to focus on more.
Nathaniel Russell, artist
Here are some ways I will try to improve in the new year here on earth. I will:
--Say "yes!" Be open to new experiences, new feelings and new ideas, especially if they feel weird to do it for love.
--Say "no!" Sure, saying yes is great, but if it somehow feels bad or gross, don't be afraid to say "no, thanks!" when I say that, it's because I care.
--Look into the world, not a device. Embrace boredom and the idle moments. Let the brain do what it's good at: thinking of stuff.
--Try not to stress out. It doesn't help anybody.
--Try to speak up when something is wrong. Don't get too comfortabl. Try to be better about this and try to fight the power of bad sh_t in the world, because there is a lot.
--Say "thank you!" all the time. Have the attitude of gratitude.
Phillip Campbell, artist
I don't make resolutions, but I do set goals. One for 2016 is to become 2nd Dan Black Belt and break two cement blocks with a single blow.
Kat Coplen, NUVO senior music editor
- Kat Coplen
I love making New Year's resolutions. Probably because, as I just learned from catching up on my Freakonomics episodes, I'm a sucker for the "Fresh Start Effect" -- an economic theory that says people are more likely to tackle and accomplish their goals if they attach them to a "salient temporal landmark."
Every single year I make a zillion of them, with the hope of being a Better Katherine Coplen in 365 short days. Here are this year's:
-- to visit four national parks and hike two slot canyons to celebrate the centennial of the National Parks System
-- to learn a new sport and "become a bit less tragically uncoordinated"
-- to run the Monumental Marathon
-- to squat/deadlift/bench press 600 pounds
-- to makeover my budget "to spend more on experiences and less on stuff
-- to see more live hip-hop and attend two new music festivals
--to eat as much spinach as possible
-- to spend more device-free days
- Beatriz's goal for 2016.
Beatriz Vasquez, papel picado artist
New Year's resolution? To travel!
Lori Raffel, Theatre on the Square artistic director
Mine is to DE-CLUTTER -- to de-clutter my house, my desk, my purse, my car and the theater.
Austin Huntington, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra principal cellist
My resolution is actually unique to this year and something I've never tried before. I want to run a 10K by the end of the summer.
- Courtesy Nicholas Rose
I've done pretty decently in a number of 5Ks throughout the years, and I think this would be a great way to take the next step and be healthier for the new year. We'll see how it goes though!
Joseph Kilbourn, musician
As someone who is resolute on a daily basis, making a meaningful resolution for the sake of Jan. 1 seems somewhat superstitious for me.
But it's always a surprise in the new year when I figure out what I earned the previous year. Maybe with a bit of amateur accounting, I can actually be a step or two ahead of my finances in 2016. I need to save up to self-finance a few of my near-completed projects.
- Claire Wilcher
Claire Wilcher, actor>
My resolution is to be unapologetic about my own opinions when I'm speaking, because I'm always apologizing for the way I feel.
I'll stay kind, but why not express myself if it's sincere and genuine?
Mat Davis, Localmotion -- My New Year’s resolution is to make my work in the local art scene an even better platform for new artists to hone their craft.
- Kim Conrad
Kim Conrad, Indianapolis Art Center Chair of Jewelry and Metalsmith department
Because I often put my art-making last among all the things I need to do (or think I need to do) on a daily/weekly basis,I will be channeling the Nike motto: Just do it!
- Jennifer Delgadillo's imagined children's book.
Yours truly, Jennifer Delgadillo, Sky Blue Window writer and artist
My resolution is to make time to write the children's book that I dreamt I wrote. I titled it I Am Not The Peace Dove: The story of the pigeon who made a difference.
In other words, I resolve to complete my projects, however absurd they may seem.
Do you have any resolutions as our pale blue dot makes another revolution, dear reader? We love to hear about yours.