It’s January 12 of the new year, 2015. By now it’s pretty obvious that our resolutions to work out every day or volunteer all the time or just stop eating so many damn donuts have faded and we’re back to our old habits. But it’s no big deal, old habits die hard. And so for the next 353 days or so we will have that nice resolution we made in our minds but not our actions. Come December, we vow that “next year will be THE year!” and so the cycle goes.
Every year I have vowed that as soon as January 1st came around, I would turn into some major health & fitness buff and my incurable sweet tooth would suddenly vanish. Or, I have vowed in years past that I would stop being such a bitch all the time and would show compassion to strangers. Furthermore, I have made the resolution to do better in school or work or whatever a few times. Needless to say, I myself have had quite a run through the revolving door of New Year’s resolutions. Does that count as a workout?
Perhaps my biggest issue with New Year’s resolutions isn’t the fact that they most likely never happen, or the fact that they are usually never as attainable as we’d like to think. My biggest issue with New Year’s resolutions is that for some reason, we think that by the tick of a minute hand, we are completely new people. We have to wait until the very last day of the very last month each year to decide to change ourselves and then we get frustrated when it’s January 12th and we’re still eating the occasional donut. That being said, New Year’s resolutions are the ultimate form of procrastination.
I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution in 2 years because I realized I didn’t want to wait until next year to change something about myself or my life that I didn’t like. It’s so easy for us to fail at our New Year’s resolution because we expect instant gratification and a blank slate when in reality, January 1st has no magical powers over our lifestyle choices. Then, when our resolutions don’t work exactly the way we want, it’s easy for us to just say, “Well, I guess this will be next year’s resolution”. How do you get anywhere with that attitude?
I’m not saying resolutions are bad and should never be made. I’m just saying that we shouldn’t use the first of the year as the only time to make them. We also shouldn’t get frustrated when they don’t work out instantly. Everyone gets so motivated in those first few days of the year, then it fizzles out, and ritualism ensues. I guess what I’m proposing is not necessarily an abolition of New Year’s resolutions, but an establishment of everyday resolutions. Wake up every day in January, April, October, whatever and if you don’t like what you’re waking up to, resolve to change it then and there. Because if you keep waiting until “next year”, you’ll never get there.