Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Getting Real with Resolutions

For the past few years, my New Year's Resolution has consisted of a single promise to myself:

No New Year's Resolutions!

Maybe it's lame, but I am usually the only person I know who actually sticks to my resolution beyond January 3rd, while the rest of my friends curse their failed diets, impulse buys, continued smoking habits.  As if there is a prize for setting the most unachievable goal and then sinking into a dark depression when the goal simply vanishes, along with the energy that inspired it.

Seriously, am I the only one who is completely bored with this game?

I realize that my "No New Year's Resolutions" seems a flip response to what I see as an antiquated, pointless tradition of self-fulfilling failure, but I still think there are some possible alternatives to the standard "drastic weight loss/unlikely health improvements" most people expect of themselves simply because they have opened a new calendar (which was likely a free gift with purchase from Avon or Dunkin Donuts anyway). So, in the interest of providing solutions to the identified problem, I am sharing my list of much more sensible (and, I believe, achievable) Resolution alternatives. 

Feel free to use one or more of these whenever you would like -- and remember, reward your successes and refuse to dwell on your failures.  After all, Robert Allen insisted that "There is no failure.  Only feedback," while Buddha believed that "The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows." I simply think it's ridiculous to set oneself up for inevitable failure when the path to success lies waiting, with plenty of room, and open arms, and infinite rewards.  So, here are my thoughts for some sensible, achievable, logical 2012 goals (phrased as affirmations, for ease of adaptation):

1.    I will not wear pajama jeans, or pajama pants, or any article of clothing containing the word "pajama" unless I am in bed. 
2.    I will not walk and text; it may not be as deadly as driving and texting, but it is twice as annoying to those who have to navigate around me.
3.    I will prioritize healthy eating and exercise without constantly recruiting everyone around me to jump on my temporary (let's be honest here) fanatical bandwagon.
4.    I will make 2012 "The Year of Honesty" by simply admitting that I intend to keep overeating.  And smoking.  And indulging in a little wine now and then.
5.    I will remember the importance of kindness toward strangers, but will succeed at being kinder to the people I actually know, too.
6.    I will listen.  With my mouth closed.
7.    I will remember that just because something looks "too awesome to pass up," very few things on infomercials are actually worth the three payments of $19.95.  Plus the shipping and handling.  And sales tax.  And the hidden fees.  And the broken/missing pieces.
8.    I will focus on developing a new hobby just as soon as I unearth the never-used treadmill hidden under piles of clothes, and hunt down the rollerblades and the golf clubs and the kayak and the hiking gear scattered around the basement.  Oh, and has anyone seen my ballroom dancing costume or my "Build-It-Yourself" Backyard Shed kit?
9.    I will write the first few words of the opening line of Chapter 1 of the next great American Novel. 
10. I will use make-up, metaphor, and meat products as Nature intended: sparingly and only when necessary.

Should any or all of these work for you, no need to thank me.  It's what I do. 
I wish you a happy, healthy, resolved 2012!

Try again.  Fail again.  Fail better.  ~Samuel Beckett

~~ Hasky

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