A brief note on New Year’s Resolutions

by Michael Zabel

Now that Christmas is over it is time for many of us to shift our focus towards those personal promises that almost never stick past the first two weeks of the fresh calendar year.  The holiday season, as great as it can be, often times drives one to the acceptance of weeks worth of gluttonous eating and putting off projects; lazing about on snowy days easily dismissing any productivity with an “eh…it’s the holidays” malaise.  The culmination of the “most wonderful time of the year” is the epic quest for personal betterment in the form of the New Year’s resolution.  Now, I am by no means against becoming a better human, but these resolutions almost never work.  I don’t have statistics to back up this claim, however I can attest to years of personal experience along other testimonies from numerous acquaintances – so you’ll just have to trust me on this one.  Last year I developed and tested a radical idea that will offer the chance to fool yourself into thinking your resolution is simply something you’ve been doing all along.  Here’s the trick (in two parts):  1. Don’t wait until January 1st…make the change today.  2. Don’t tell anyone what your resolution is.  If you know what it is you would like to resolve, why wait the extra week?  After all, going back to work or school after the holiday recess can be hard enough without remembering something mundane like abstaining from eating potato chips.  As for part two of the ruse, the harsh reality is nobody will care if you stick to your resolution so just keep it to yourself.  This also will reduce the stress of public failure and focus accountability solely on you (after all you are doing this for yourself right?).  So  before that ball drops of New Year’s eve, throw away those chips, start filling up the journal that’s been sitting on your bookshelf all last year, draw – and paint – new things, or learn a new computer program.  Whatever it may be, make that promise to yourself today…and Happy New Year!    

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