When I say I don’t support new year's resolutions, I’m not buying into a bitter, anti-self-improvement binge. I’m simply saying that I have never been tempted into indulging in a yearly ritual in which I make promises to myself that I more than likely will not keep.
The miasma surrounding the yearly custom derives from its “new year, new you” connotation. Self-improvement isn’t something you start building upon just because of that oh so constant seven at the end of your signed dates suddenly changed to an eight.
The resolution solution only allows people that don’t really want to change to wait an extra eleven months before taking the month of January off from whatever it is they want to ‘fix’ about themselves.
My thoughts are these:
When someone actually decides to change themselves for the better, they aren’t going to wait for the lowering of a shiny ball and the strike of midnight similar to a reverse Cinderella-effect.
The date won’t end up mattering.
Which is why so few people actually end up not following through on their resolutions. Someone asked another about his or her plan of change in the new year, and he or she then throws out some vice indulged in at some point or another, not having made a plan for change or really acknowledged the effort it would take to undergo even a simple reform.
I throw out into the void that I’m going to stop drinking coke and all of a sudden its pats on the back and “Good for you!” and “Gotta start somewhere!” from everyone around me. As if by stating my ‘resolution’ I’ve actually managed to do something worth congratulating.
Now, what is unrelated to an excuse for inactivity the rest of the year are goals.
Yearly goals are not at all the same as a new year’s resolution. Goals are specified, defined, reachable and planned when one actually has taken the initiative to accomplish what it is they have in mind.
I am all for goals. I have personal goals and yearly goals and far into the future goals. If my goal is to eat healthier and lose weight, it won’t be because I binged during the holidays anticipating January for my resolution to kick in for a month and help me lose the extra pounds. If I want to make a certain amount of money in a year, it won’t be because all of a sudden January first hit and I’ve decided that that amount of money is essential on that day.
So set goals for yourself and be proactive, but don’t use an excuse such the new year to either put off or abruptly begin acting on improving yourself or your life.
And if you’re stubborn and insist that your resolution will be followed through on, flesh out these thoughts. Plan for them and set your mind on a resolution that you actually care about. Not something you don’t actually mind giving up and are doing to assuage some kind of guilt you might have about not changing an aspect of yourself each year.
Many of these shallow resolutions are without planning, without purpose and without the intention of being followed through.
However, I do understand the need to do something different in the new year.
Post-holiday season has me in as much of a rut as anyone.
But how about we make some positive goals permanent this year?