I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve even ranted about them before. Vast majorities of my very essence are screaming at me to rant about them again: every time I hear “New Year, New Start” or any equally stupid phrase a part of me dies a horrible death. However, I’m nothing if not constructive and, having ranted, it’s time to offer a solution.
First, an explanation. The reason I don’t set NYR is because I don’t think they’re as useful as people claim they are. If I had a vice, such as smoking, I wouldn’t wait for an ultimately irrelevant date to fix that. The potential cancer doesn’t wait until you’ve missed your first New Year to start kicking in — it kicks in immediately. If I start smoking in June and am diagnosed with cancer in November of the same year, I can’t write an appeal to the cosmos:
“Hey bro, think you made a mistake. I’ve not been smoking past any Jan 1st yet, thus I’m ineligible for cancer. Pls fix, kthx.”
In this instance, granted, the point is not to smoke but hopefully it highlights the stupidity of the point. In many ways, it’s fantastic that the 1st offers a catalyst for change but it simply shouldn’t be that way. If something is wrong, and you know it’s wrong, it’s probably best to put it right immediately.
As an example, I can use my own fitness levels. I like to keep somewhat fit. I partake in sporting activity multiple times a week, avoid modern food/AIDS hybrids (I’m looking at you, McDonalds) and use my legs to walk where a short bus ride is an alternative. Occassionally, however, I’ll play a game of football and find myself appalled at how low my stamina was. Do I wait for the next 1st of Jan to come along? Of. Course. Not. Starting the next day I cut down on sugary foods & drink, find out where I’ve been slacking and toughen up on my physical regime. I’ve never been to a gym, I don’t own any gym equipment (unless you count my 7.5kg dumbells) and I don’t go out of my way to jog/walk for the sake of doing so. Simply re-aligning my mentality gets me back to the state I want to be.
What’s the point to all this? NYR are a great idea but allowing something to spiral out of control or develop as a habit until the next NY is not such a great one. Agree with me? Great. As promised, then, here’s the only NYR you’ll need:
I resolve to be mindful of my actions this year. I will deal with negative situations and behaviours as they happen. I will progress with positive situations and behaviours as I see fit.
See how easy that is? You’ve promised yourself to pay attention to your own life, fix the bad stuff and keep the good stuff going. Easier said than done, yes, but now you’ve empowered yourself to take action throughout the year and that’s all you really wanted anyway.
Worked during the weekend and didn’t get to spend much time with them? Fix it next weekend. Paid off a bit more debt this month than usual? Keep it going. Add it all together over the course of a year and, come next January, you’ll be more grateful for this one resolution than you have any other.
I sincerely wish you a Happy New Year. To your health and happiness, reader.