Fresh Start

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Fresh Start

At the beginning of every year, millions of people decide to make New Year’s Resolutions. I wonder if any of you have ever made a new years resolution? Hands up! OK, so how many of you actually kept the resolution? Hands up! OK, so most of you didn’t keep the resolution, the others of you are just fakers… or possibly you’re telling the truth!

Random Idea

Depending on your relationship with the school / students, you can get away with doing different things – in a fun sense! You could come wearing different kinds of clothes to represent a certain street style. Or say you’re going to be using a new word, or giving free sweets out. Or if it’s a school where you don’t yet know staff and students yet, just say what you’ll be doing as a fresh start this year (getting fit / getting to places on time etc etc).

Top 10 New Year Resolutions

A survey in US found these were the top 10 new year resolutions…

1. Spend more time with family and friends. Some of you may not agree with this one! 50% of Americans enjoy being with loved ones. Believe me, no-one on their death bed says they wish they’d made more money. Time after time, people say they wished they’d spent more time with family and friends.

2. Spend time getting fit. Again, this may not be a priority for some, it is for me. Exercise means you’re more healthy, more awake and your chances of getting diseases is massively lowered.

3. Getting rid of the bulge on your tum! And no, we’re not talking about pregnancy. We’re talking about fat. This is one of people’s top ten desires every new year. Some studies suggest up to 66% of Americans are overweight. One UK study suggested 43% of men and 33% of women are overweight. In year 6, 35% of boys and 31% of girls were overweight according to a 2009 study.

4. Quitting smoking. Now, I know there’s no-one in this room or school who smokes… (sic) If there were, you may be one of those who wants to stop smoking in the new year. In December 2009, the NHS launched its Stop Smoking Kit, saying that 54% of smokers want help to manage their desire to smoke, with 42% ready to use nicotine patches to help them. At any time, 7 in 10 smokers wants to quit. This is one of the biggest killers in the UK. Don’t die early. Quit today!

5. Enjoy Life More. Now, for some of you, enjoying life isn’t a problem. Some of you may enjoy life a little bit too much, especially at weekends. But many people don’t really enjoy their life. Question – is doing what you do, really making you happy?

6. Drinking less alcohol. Lots of people drink alcohol and many of these people drink too much. Again, we realise that this is a tea-total school with no students or staff ever drinking… (ahem). But many people actually want to quit drinking! Yes, as incredible as it may seem, some people actually don’t enjoy drinking. 

7. Getting out of debt. Now this may not be too much of a problem for you personally, but the average amount of debt in the UK per household is around £58,000. Now of course many people aren’t in debt, but in 1 month in 2009, 25000 people went bust. This affects people’s lives and some of the people you see on the streets are people this has happened to.

8. Learning Something New is another resolution people have. Have you ever wanted to try something new? A new sport / new friends / doing homework… (oops, sorry, I realise everyone does their work). Things I’d like to do include climbing somewhere like in the Alps / going back to New York / going to the Grand Canyon etc.

9. Help Others. If you don’t know this secret, I’m going to let you in to the key to being happy in life. I guarantee it works, but it may take you out of your comfort zone. You will be challenged and changed, but here’s the key. Look out for others. Look outside of yourself and help / love others. The most rewarding things I’ve ever done have been helping others – homeless people, young people in Lithuania, kids in Philadelphia, Christmas carols at the local hospice. You’ll never be short of friends either!

10. Getting organised. Again, I realise everyone here is completely organised, always turns up to school on time, always does their work, always knows what lesson they’re in and is on time for everything out of school… If you’re not, maybe time to start?

Video Clips – Secret Millionaire

There are a couple of short YouTube clips about how the Channel 4 programme ‘Secret Millionaire’ changed people’s lives. These can be found here:

Secret Millionaire Changed My Life | Emma and Wyn | Channel 4
Secret Millionaire Changed My Life | Gill and Sabrina | Channel 4

If you’re able to get hold of the clip of Secret Millionaire Changed My Life with Gary Eastwood (2009), you’ll find inspiring content there.

Say – these clips showed how these millionaires did something amazing and how it changed their life. Out of one experience, they made a change in their lives. So change is possible, you can make this year a fresh start.

Alternative Video Clip – The Bourne Identity

Bourne Identity Chapter 2 (Timings: 00:06:11 – 00:08:12) or continue into Chapter 3 up to 00:09:24 as Bourne disappears just before the shot changes to the train, as Jason tries to find who he is. In the end, he has to make a kind of fresh start, as he gets off the ship and leaves the men who’ve rescued him.

If you use Bourne say: obviously Jason Bourne didn’t know who he was because he had amnesia (memory loss). So he was on a journey to find out who he was. Often we’re on the same journey – finding out who we are. Like a train journey, this involves picking things up and dropping things off. Maybe this new year, you’re looking to drop stuff from your life that you need to let go of – unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, resentment, bad memories. Make a fresh start this year and find out who you were truly made to be.

Fresh Start

Martine McCutcheon Activia commercial, 2009 –

The Activia advert (shown at the end of 2009-start 2010) with Martine McCutcheon had an interesting angle to talking about a new year, saying: “when you feel happier on the inside, you feel happier on the outside” and encouraging us to “get stuck into a pot of new year’s resolution.”

(YouTube link accessed January 2019)

Many people are looking to the new year to be one with a fresh start. But very few people will be able to manage it.

As Christians, we agree with the Activia advert with Martine and believe that when you feel happier on the inside, you feel happier on the inside. You see, you can do many things to make yourself feel better, but we believe that only one thing can change you permanently and for the better – that is meeting with God and being changed by him.

Or maybe you just want to change something in your life. Just remember that to make a change in an area (eg anger or just cleaning your room!) it has to be something you can achieve (so don’t try and change everything at once) and you have to keep going. They say it takes between 10-30 days of doing something so that it becomes a habit.

Whatever you do, have a great new year and remember that we are always here for you, ready to listen, support, laugh, share the bad stuff in your world and just to look out for you.