January 1st is an arbitrary date, just like your birthdate or anniversary date or Tax Day or the date of this upcoming Wednesday. So, why do so many people cling to this date and feel the need to set goals that are often forgotten about within the month? To top it off, these goals are often massive in scope and/or impractical, making it even more improbable that they will be carried through.
1. Resolutions that involve a “never” or an “always” are just dumb. Just like the cardinal rule for communicating with others, it’s not generally wise to use those terms when it comes to resolution-making. You’re bound to be wrong and/or piss someone off.
Exhibit 1a) “I won’t eat one bite of fast food EVER AGAIN”. Stop making resolutions like that. I will concede that most fast good is just fatty, salt-filled, processed crap, but really let’s all calm down about those trans-fats, high glycemic index values and figuring out whatever the hell is in those processed “meats”. Indulging, in moderation, is ok. Really. Just like the word “hate”, the word “never” is a strong word, and sometimes mowing down a Junior Bacon Cheeseburger can make living life worthwhile. There’s no point to having slippery smooth, cavernous arteries if you’re just going to be a self-righteous, miserable, wretch your whole (long?) life.
Exhibit 1b) “I will go to the gym every day”. No, you won’t. You’re just setting yourself up for failure with this one. If you work outside the home, have a family, like to spend time with friends, enjoy any other hobbies or activities, or ever let yourself rest when you need to, you might have time for a number of workouts each week, but you will still not be at the gym every day. Unless maybe you intend to go daily for the sole purpose of roasting in the sauna or soaking in the hot tub.
2. Any resolution regarding the lessened intake of alcoholic beverages doesn’t make you a better person*. It just makes you a more boring one. We drinkers need drinking buddies to imbibe with, and to overall enjoy life with. Don’t be so selfish.
*Okay, exceptions can be made for those who have a little TOO much fun with the drinky drink, if you know what I mean. I believe in moderation in everything, folks, not just in regards to chomping on the trans-fats and horsemeat found in fast food.
3. Resolutions are typically vague and abstract. The easier to avoid accountability with, I suppose. The opposite problem seen in numbers 1. “I will be nicer to my asshole brother this year” or “I will complain less about the way my spouse’s farts smell” leave a lot of room for interpretation. Chances are this isn’t even a real goal, you’re just regurgitating a list of random things your mother told you, in her passive aggressive way, that you should change about yourself.
4. If you really wanted to change something about yourself, you’d have started already. Even if it’s just starting to formulate a plan for improvement. People make resolutions all the time – they work to lower their blood sugar, to increase their muscle mass, to become better spouses, parents, people. If you’re not already making your own resolutions, and tweaking them on more regular basis than once per year, you’re doing life wrong.
So, how about it? Agree with me, or do you have a whole list of resolutions just waiting for you around the corner?