Even though I’ve made a few over the years, I’m not really sure what the point is of making a New Year’s Resolution. I get the symbolism of a new beginning and wanting the road ahead to be better than the one in the rearview mirror. But I’m not sure any of my resolutions ever stuck. I’ve had much more success with positive change when I said “fuck it” and spontaneously jumped in head-first. If you’re going to do something, do it.
I promise I’m not discouraging others from making resolutions—just stating that they’ve never worked for me. I know I’m not alone on that island, just like I know there are tons of folks who make their annual covenant with self and follow through every time. We’re all different, obviously, but we’re all really kind of the same too. Raise your hand if any of these sounds like you:
Would I like to lose that last 20 pounds? Sure.
Would I like to finish that project I’ve never been able to polish off? Sure.
Would I like to put myself in a better financial position, eat healthier, learn to play an instrument, learn a foreign language, volunteer in my community, take a cooking class, or become a helicopter pilot?
Sure. All of that sounds wonderful.
But I can’t do it all in one year. Hell, all of that stuff would take me at least ten. So what if I pick one and fail? Can I start another one as a March resolution? Seems a bit too gimmicky for me. I’m all for making lists, but this isn’t picking up groceries or figuring out the best songs of 1972. This is supposed to be me bettering my life. Not that I have a lot to complain about in the first place…there’s just always room for improvement, no?
And that idea is what led me here. There is always room for improvement. You super goal-oriented people: how long do you revel in the achievement of a goal before you start working toward the next one? It would be very easy for me to keep one of the resolutions above and, at the same time, completely blow it in another area of my life. That’s not really success in my book.
So I’m not making a New Year’s Resolution on January 1 of 2014 or any of the following years I’m fortunate enough to remain on this earth. But I am adopting a new motto. This may be something you’re down with and want to try; if so, more power to you and good luck. Or maybe you love the idea of a yearly resolution and think I’m a weirdo; if so, that’s fine too. I just think I’ve come up with something meaningful to my life that doesn’t ever have to change, but at the same time could bring about tons of change every day of every year going forward. This isn’t anything groundbreaking or planet-saving, but at 12:01 every 01/01 I’m going to say it to myself. Ready? Here it is:
“Do it better this year than you did it last year.”
Simple, yet potentially outstanding no matter what I achieve (or don’t). Here’s to living up to it. Cheers, and Happy New Year.