Ready your bullet journals and break out the copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up you swore you’d open last year—it’s time for New Year’s resolutions.

Eat right.  New year, new you!  Cut down on screen time.  You got this!  Run that marathon.  The best is yet to come!  Start a passion project.  THIS IS YOUR YEAR!

While the calendar year crossover offers a singular break, a shared moment of transition, for New Year’s resolution makers and non-resolutioners alike, what matters most are the 365 days that follow the champagne popping at midnight.

Although the subject of making and keeping resolutions drives headlines, dinner table discussions, and social conversations this time of year, why is it that, like will power, the topic of resolution seems to fade in the days and months following New Year’s?

reŸsoŸluŸtion

noun

  1. a firm decision to do or not do something

Resolution isn’t a one-trick pony or the fancy china your mom breaks out once a year, but a perennial theme, an everyday theme, even.  So, consider the following ways in which we define, rely upon, and experience resolution throughout the year.

Classical narrative structure dictates a story’s climax be followed by falling action and end in resolution.  We seek narrative resolution in the literature we read, the Netflix shows we binge, the movies we quote.  Without a resolution, the plot is incomplete.

reŸsoŸluŸtion

noun

  1. the point in a literary work at which the chief dramatic complication is worked out

Far from fiction, literary or otherwise, the news cycle makes us painfully aware of another kind of resolution: conflict resolution.  A social, political, and cultural barometer, resolution, or lack thereof, indicates when we succeed, when we fail, and when it’s just too close or difficult to tell.

reŸsoŸluŸtion

noun

  1. the act or process of resolving

While narrative and sociopolitical resolution leave seemingly ample room for ambiguity—was it really resolved?  to what extent?—a fourth type of resolution allows us to quantify and capture in precise measurement the world around us.  High-resolution?  Low-resolution?  How many dots per inch?  Not dissimilar to how a runner might train for a marathon by creating weekly mileage goals, by dividing an image into a greater number of disparate parts, we can render a scene more clearly.

reŸsoŸluŸtion

noun

  1. a measure of the sharpness of an image; dots per inch (DPI)

So, whether you define resolution as a New Year’s tradition, the ending of that novel sitting on your nightstand, a story on the nightly news, or that high-res image due to an editor by noon, resolve to be resolute all year ’round.

 

Written by R/West Assistant Account Executive, Carly Anderson