To the New Year’s resolutions I refuse to make……

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

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. 

don't make me any promises

Note to self……

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.

happy new year

Have you made any new years resolutions?

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24 Responses to To the New Year’s resolutions I refuse to make……

  1. You too!

    I’m with you on the whole resolutions fiasco. And Hogmanay always has a melancholic feeling about it that I could well live without. Thank gawd it’s over. Onto the the rest of the New Year now. Hope it ‘unfurls’ as you wish. 🙂 All the best. x

    • So glad I’m not the only melancholic soul over New Year. My goodness, how did you get all that into a poem? Amazing. I pinged you.
      All the best for you too. Keep up the wonderful outpourings.:)

  2. I sense a paradox. Isn’t deciding not to make resolutions a resolution? I sense your resolve in this.

    BE IT RESOLVED THAT I (insert name here = “navigator1965”), IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 2014, SHALL:

    1. Achieve total world domination
    2. Destroy the evil Matriarchy
    3. Not forget to put out the garbage (too often)
    4. Help keep the home clean (clean being a relative term, and subject to interpretation)
    5. Write Book Two of The Mirror
    6. Knock Malcolm Gladwell’s book off the #1 position on the NY Times non-fiction best sellers list, probably in the July-August time frame
    7. Find a new job, preferably as a full time writer or at least a bar tender
    8. Not become the most poorly paid male exotic dancer in Canada, if not the world
    9. Push the chairs upon which I have been sitting back in place when done with them (once in a while)
    10. Not displace as much water upon entry into the bath or a swimming pool as I presently do

    • * Re the paradox – I think I’m confusing/irritating the logical mathematician in you.
      * Can’t you squeeze in a romance novel between books 1 and 2 of the Mirror, given your expeditious attempts on this blog in 2013? Better option than #8.
      * Your domestic sins don’t sound so bad?
      * Good luck with the Matriarchy.
      * Malcolm Gladwell is my hero, don’t hurt him when you knock him off his perch.:)

  3. Happy New Year, Susan. I like your struggle and losing battle with the resolutions demon, I had a good laugh. Unlike you, I did not make any resolutions 🙂 I’m keeping my options open. Whatever I end up achieving would be my unspoken resolution coming into realization, lol.

    I wish you an abundantly blessed and fulfilling 2014, and I start the year off making you aware that I have nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award:

  4. Peekiequeen says:

    Happy New Year Susan! I wholeheartedly support your Non-resolution mode for the first time ever. My only goal is to finish my darn manuscript. Cheers to you and hoping we may continue to celebrate all-things bloggable in the year to come.

  5. Pingback: New years resolution for the bankrupt gardener was to forget the past and rely on the fuchsia | crumbsoffthetable

  6. Lee-Anne says:

    A lovely, uplifting post, Susan. YES those ‘plans’ are in fact ‘resolutions’ (a rose by any other name etc) but I won’t hold it against you! I too find the whole new year thing a bit of an anti-climax after Christmas and am always relieved when all the hoo-haa has passed.

    I do quite like the idea, at least, of resolutions. It can help one be a better person (as pompous as that sounds) My own ‘plan’ (haha) is to gossip less and be more tolerant and thereby inhabit a tranquil world full of good karma. But it’s a big call…(someone annoyed me yesterday and I was so tempted to be intolerant, then gossip about them!!) 🙂

    • I read that gossiping is a human form of primal grooming, to sort out social alliances and boundaries. And yes, sometimes I go too far and feel like I’ve been picking fleas with someone.
      Have you looked at Brene Brown’s Tedtalk yet? I do admire her concept of being wholehearted. Sounds cheesy but it’s not, I got a lot from it. My girlfriend was actually having a dig at me, using ‘wholehearted’ in her New Years wish.
      Yes, hooray to the end of the hoo-haa! 🙂

  7. Lee-Anne says:

    PS: I am very fond of that new fish wallpaper!

  8. My resolutions always manage to fall by the wayside. So I think I am going to do the same, Susan. Give them a miss 🙂 Have wonderful 2014 .~ Amelia 🙂

  9. Susan Forbes says:

    Day 2 of 2014 and I still haven’t had a Crust pizza!!!! 😉 Happy new year my very talented, clever friend. 😀

  10. HazMo's Mama says:

    The only thing I have resolved for 2014 is to wear more colour and to find my joyfulness much more often. I love New Year….it’s like a big clean canvas untouched by the scribbles of the year, so much promise!


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