How NOT to make New Year’s Resolutions
By now you must have tired of all the constant Tra-la-la of Christmas music, the hangovers of year-end parties and, ahem, good cheer. Then in a mirrored moment, you realize that the time has come for shedding holiday pounds and making New Year’s resolutions. Many others will tell you how to make and keep your resolutions, for a slimmer, healthier, happier you, but I say resist the urge!!
As the end of 2008 draws near, I hear general intimations of resolve:
- I’ll study more.
- I’ll exercise and lose weight.
- I’m going to quit smoking (~again).
- I’m going to work harder, earn more money, etc.
- Blah, blah, blah!
Or more specific declarations:
- I will study my ass off and get all A’s next semester
- I’ll be more patient with my deadbeat brother-in-law when he drunk dials and wakes the kids
Or more positive (yet even more implausible) affirmations like:
- I’ll enjoy life more.
- And (my personal favorite) I’ll fall in love and get married this year.
How many New Year’s resolutions have been left by the wayside, homeless and unwanted, begging by the roadside only a few weeks, days or even moments into the New Year? Why trudge haphazard into an uncertain transformation, only to slip back into bad-habitsville.
Then there are those who think they should advise us on how to accomplish these monumental tasks. Doling out tidbits as they sit on their high horse smoking like a chimney about how to make or keep resolutions for the New Year. They’ll tell you things like:
- Be realistic (if you were really realistic, you wouldn’t even think about the New Year in these tight times as it will only give you a headache.)
- Set achievable goals (how about give me five bucks – that’s achievable)
- Be specific (yeah, like get a job, ya loser!)
- Find alternatives to a behavior (huh?)
- Don’t do what you think you ought to do or what others expect of you. (OK, so you resolve to what – eat more Twinkies (RIP)?)
If you must do something new to welcome in the New Year, don’t berate yourself… Celebrate Yourself!
Rather than getting frustrated with unattainable goals, take some time to reflect on all you’ve accomplished in the last year. Then find ways to facilitate a continuation of those things that you’ve been doing well and the things you love doing. If you really love all night Breaking Bad binges or dancing naked, own it! Enjoy the New Year – when the throbbing pain of the celebratory hangover subsides – and revel in the purity of being yourself, whoever you are.
And for those slackers out there – yeah that means YOU – if you really want to change your life, to get out there and sweat, to awaken a new part of yourself, to do that Dead Poet’s Carpe Diem thing, then if you are really ready, don’t wait for an artificial day on the Roman calendar, do it now, today, this minute! And do something really Earth-shattering. Don’t just change yourself… change the world, even if it is only by bits and pieces or in fits and starts.
On the other hand, if you’re just peachy with the way things are, and satisfied with your progress through life, then sit down, relax and coast through 2016. After all, the next year is full of promise. As for me, I intend to relax and feed my coffee addiction. Stick to what you know and be comfortable with yourself in the new year.
And as my friend said, “I’m gonna smoke more, drink more and watch more TV.” So “Smoke up Johnny,” if you really wanted to quit, you never would have started in the first place. Leave the resolutions to those with real resolve!