So, did you or didn’t you? Are you one of those super optimistic people who trot out the same old resolutions year after year, ever hopeful that this will finally be the year when you’re able to hold on to one long enough to say you kept it? Do you have your list permanently engraved in your memory so you don’t have to write it down? Or maybe you come up with a new list every year, thinking that sooner or later you’ll hit on something that works?
Well, let’s review a few of those resolutions. How do they stack up? After all, there are only so many ideas we humans can come up with for self-improvement. We tend to think alike when we start kidding ourselves.
What’s Number 1 on almost all of our lists? GET BACK IN SHAPE! Exercise more, eat healthily, lose weight and quit smoking if it applies. Number 2 would probably be our promise to spend more quality time with family and friends. This would include cutting way back on the boob tube and social media. Somewhere in there we’d vow to read at least one thought-provoking, inspirational book every month and, in general, clean up our act. Sound familiar?
Give it up, guys. We all know we’re doomed to fail. Our promises to ourselves may give us a lift as we sing “Auld Lang Syne” on the last night of the old year. We’re excited, eager to unveil the new us, ready to become better people. So, what happens?
Unfortunately, January 1st is what happens. That is decidedly the single worst day of the year on which to attempt any changes. Why? Well, that’s easy. It’s those darned New Year’s Eve parties on December 31st that we can’t turn down. Take for instance, the most recent occasion.
We all partied last night, we know we did. We even remember parts of the evening. We put on goofy hats, blew gaudy noise-makers, tried to prove we could still Jitterbug, ate tons of greasy, gooey little things and glugged down who knows how much eggnog. Then came a confusing count down when some kind of a ball dropped somewhere, accompanied by a Champagne toast. And we called it fun!
So now we’ve arrived at January 1st. New Year’s Day is dawning bright and full of promise. And where are we? Cringing under the comfortless comforter, peering out of glazed eyeballs, head throbbing and tummies very, very iffy. We’re expected to bound out of bed and do push-ups? Cook oatmeal? Welcome a thundering herd of raucous offspring who’ve discovered the discarded noisemakers? All in the name of a few rash promises we made in the enthusiasm of the night before? Fat Chance!
Worse yet, we’re faced with reading the first chapter of “The Rise And Fall Of The Roman Empire” when we can’t even pick the darned thing up! This is exactly why January 1st is the absolute worst day of the year for new beginnings. Quality time with the family is a distant dream, something to be postponed indefinitely, along with any vague intentions of self improvement. There have to be better times to begin.
So once again all those needed New Year’s resolutions have been sabotaged and we’re feeling more than a little guilty. Surely there’ll be other opportunities to keep them – like maybe next year? We already have our lists, just in case.