Dear New Year’s resolutions
No way am I falling for you again. I’m awake to your shallow efforts to help me self-improve. I know about your agenda to pressure me to conform, to over-promise and under-deliver rashly made resolutions when weak and inebriated. I believed in you/myself, but now I’ve cut the cord, I’m free. I will no longer feel grubby from the guilt of not fulfilling you. New Years resolutions, life is too short for you.
New Years resolutions, you use this carrot of a celebration on New Years Eve to suck me into making promises. But not any more. I think my outlook is usually pretty positive, especially after a good night’s sleep. But as I get older, New Year’s Eve can make me uncomfortable, even melancholic. I’m not sure why. Is it too much of a reminder of life’s great conveyor belt of time? As John Mellencamp said in The Real Life:
When you reach a certain age
Particularly to those ones that are young at heart
It’s a lonely proposition when you realize
That’s there’s less days in front of the horse
Than riding in the back of this cart.
Oh dear. And your bosom buddy, Auld Lang Syne. Apologies, Robert Burns, but do you realise your song is also sung at funerals? I understand it’s about long-standing friendships, but they don’t sound particularly close to me:
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
And the tune is a dirge, SO SAD. This even made me sad when I believed I had endless days in front of the horse.
So, dear New Year’s resolutions, I’m not playing your game any more. I used to be obedient and make well-intentioned lists; to help solve the world’s problems, exercise more, be a better person etc, only to forget the list a week later > guilt hangover. I’m not alone!! Apparently, 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail to keep them.
This is all wasted time. End of whinge. On a more optimistic note, this is what I’m doing. I’m celebrating a new day, the first day of a new year, 2014 (heck, 30 years after George Orwell’s dystopian 1984). Yes, I have plans for the future, and they’re more substantial and better planned than my doomed, barely considered New Year’s resolutions in the past. They consist of:
- creating smaller goals to help me achieve the long-term ones
- tracking the progress of my goals regularly
- committing to my goals and being willing to work through any challenges
- show persistence and be flexible enough to manoeuvre in another direction when plans change
Oh my goodness, are these resolutions??
Apparently resolutions are more sustainable when shared (Frank Ra, A Course in Happiness). A girlfriend sent me the text below this morning. It’s more a wish than a resolution, but it’s much more fun because it’s shared.
“Happy new year! May we unfurl and adventure wholeheartedly and hilariously.”
Who would say no thanks to this, a journey towards a happy, authentic, generous spirit? So I wish it for all of you too, for us in bloggerland in 2014.
Have you made any new years resolutions?