Wednesday, January 7, 2009

On New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions are something I don't really understand. Every year, people of all walks of life consider ways that they would like to improve themselves in the year to come and then set goals on how to do so. Personally, I am not much of a resolution maker, and I don't quite understand why making resolutions at this time of year is significant. For me, a resolution is something that you can make at any time. It does not need an arbitrary calendar date on which to begin.

Sure, it may make people feel good to have a time at which to start something, but why at the New Year? After all, the New Year really is just a point in time at which the Earth is at a particular place in it's orbit. There's some exact scientific measurement for where Earth is at the exact time of the New Year boundary, but it isn't like we as the travelers on this massive body we call Earth really pay much attention to it. We're far more tied up with the rising and the setting of the sun, the changing of the seasons, and, honestly, how often we have to go to the bathroom. Even our calendar doesn't get it right, as evidenced by the concept of a "leap year", and, most recently, the "leap second" that we just experienced.

So, why at the New Year? Why not at the summer solstice or the first day of spring? Those days, to me, seem like more reasonable times to "start anew". Or how about at some other culturally significant time, like Easter or Halloween or Groundhog Day? Seriously, all this hullabaloo about making resolutions this time of year gets terribly wearying. We've got news articles coming out our ears that talk about how to be successful in your resolutions to lose weight, get out of debt, find your soul mate, be happier in your life, and to clean out your closet.

For me, any time is a good time to make a resolution. The tricky part is to see it through; making them is easy, keeping them is the hard part. For me, I just don't need to make them at the New Year. I never have, and I don't think I ever will. When I find something that I need to improve in my life (and believe me, it happens far too often ...), I don't wait for the New Year to do something about it. I make my resolution now, and I work on it now. And when I finally break my resolutions, as I inevitably do, it happens at just about the same number of days from when I make the resolution as most people who do it on January 1st.

This means that I usually get, oh, about 9 days out of it. So, rather than actively planning to make January 10th a bad day, I like to spread it out over the course of the year. That way I can keep those days of bliss (or misery) between the making of the resolution and the breaking of the resolution nicely spaced out throughout the year. This serves to reduce my stress level after the Holidays, because all my resolutions don't come crashing down at the same time. It's great, and it works really well for me.

So, next time you think about making a New Year's Resolution, think again! You should make it when you think of it, and spread out the joy and misery of breaking it throughout the year! These are good words to live by.

1 comment:

Angel said...

Couldn't have said it better myself. :)

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