“I’m gonna quit smoking.”
“I’ll hit the gym more.”
“No more fast food.”
“I’m going to stop being an asshole.”
Is your new year’s resolution the same as it was this time last year?
Fret not. You’re not alone. Only 30% of 20-somethings manage to stick to theirs, a number that drops to 15% for folks over 50.
Apparently the older you get, the less you give a crap about time-consuming things like “change” and “personal growth”.
So what if we’re all missing the real point when it comes to making new year’s resolutions?
Instead of failing year after year, succumbing to the first temptation that breaks our resolve, and feeling crappy about ourselves, let’s change the way we look at this time-honoured and incredibly tired tradition.
Why are abstinence and persistence so damn hard anyway?
Here’s What I Propose…
Maybe new year’s resolutions shouldn’t be about creating big, positive change in your life.
Maybe it’s really about the fleeting feel-good pat on the back we give ourselves that last week of every year and the first month of every new one.
Maybe it’s about the potential for change that comes with new beginnings — that small glimmer of hope in light of the likelihood that who you are today is probably who you’re going to be tomorrow.
So let’s make this whole thing easier on ourselves. A minor stretch of the imagination and a short hop through some linguistic loopholes is all it takes.
Because finding technicalities to get out of the promises you make to yourself is really what New Year’s Resolutions are all about.
The TRADITIONAL New Year’s Resolution
This is how we typically define “resolution”, in the same family as the word “resolute”:
[RESOLUTION]= A firm decision to do or not do something.
But with just a few small tweaks (and ignoring some basic rules of English), we end up with a much more accessible concept that takes away all the commitment and pressure to succeed.
The NEW New Year’s Resolution
[-SOLUTION]= A means of solving a problem.
[RESOLUTION]= A means of attempting to fix the same problem once again!
Like magic, you’ve now stayed true to last year’s resolution by making it again this year.
Now you can experience that short-lived feel-good energy of changing yourself for the better in the new year without the inevitable disappointment of caving a few months in.
Because when you fall off your horse, you don’t reevaluate your mode of transportation in the 21st century. You try and try and try again without any shame or self-reflection.
So Go Ahead — Make ’Em And Break ‘Em
Whether it’s in a few days or a few months, smoke that cigarette and eat that cheese burger with a clear conscience. You got what you wanted out of your new year’s resolution, after all: The empty hope of a better you.
If we really wanted to change for the better and for good, we wouldn’t wait for the start of a new calendar year when we have bigger things to worry about, like accidentally writing 2016 in the first two weeks of January.
So have a happy new year! And here’s to another year of more of the same: the same flaws, the same half-hearted effort, the same you.