I don’t think I’ve ever made a new years resolution. I’ve never been one for promises I can’t keep and I also know myself well enough to know that I’m full of shit.
As the new year rolled in, timelines on all the social networks began to fill with stunted words of wisdom, spiritual banalities and people speaking on all the ways they’re gonna change their lives in 2015. One day ago, they were smoking a pack a day, burning bridges and cheating on their wives but now we gotta write a different year on a check,so it’s gonna change. No doubt. I’ve long thought that people don’t change as much as they evolve. My this, I mean if you’re a selfish asshole at 20 years old, you’ll still be a selfish asshole at 40. Just a more refined and sharpened version of the one you used to be. Obviously, this theory isn’t a fact and there are plenty of cases you’re probably coming up with in your head that might disprove it. But, in general, I truly believe it (but recognize there are exceptions to all rules).
Anyway, as it is the second day of a new year, I wanted to look at some common resolutions and the reality of those resolutions. In many ways, we are the only people that can better ourselves. A clock turning 12 does not have any bearing on you and you’re personal faults.
So, let’s look at 5 common resolutions and their realities.
Resolution 1: I’m gonna start working out
Reality: I’m gonna join a gym. I’ll start at the weights and tell myself “once I get my wind back, I’ll get a personal trainer” but weights are heavy and my shoulders hurt. Holy shit, I’m sore. So, maybe I’ll just go run on the machines. I’ll try the treadmill and maybe run half a mile at a brisk pace, then get bored and try the stationary bikes. Wow, even more boring. The elliptical looks like way to many pieces moving at once and that scares me. Back the tread mill to walk at a slight incline at about 2.8 mph while listening to a podcast. Wow, these locker rooms are disgusting. I just way an old man sit on his balls. I do this routine maybe twice then slowly make excuses why I can’t make the gym. Turns out exercising is both really hard and tedious. No wonder I never do it. I remain a member of the gym for 6 months but cancel my membership once summer rolls around cause “I’m gonna be outdoors a lot anyway”.
Resolution 2: I’m gonna quit smoking
Reality: January 1st…not one cigarette. Feeling great. I miss it but I can do this. A few days pass, feeling the itch pretty heavy but holding strong. I go out and grab a meal and some drinks with friends. Actively trying to not think about how good that cigarette would be right now. A few drinks later, fuck it. I can have just one. I smoke a cigarette but make a deal with myself that, as long as I don’t buy a pack, I’m still okay with this. I bum like 6 cigarettes that night from my friends. Wake up the next day feeling the shame. Get back on the horse. Fall right back off the horse a few days later. This back and forth continues for a little while till I eventually come to terms that I’m not ready to quit. I promise myself I’ll do it next year as I buy myself a pack.
Resolution 3: Be a nicer person
Reality: I do my best to listen to people and not just hear them. I try to be gracious to talk to people, instead of at them. I try not to judge people too quickly or make rude comments for no reason.
Oh wait, I’m an asshole. This is impossible.
Resolution 4: Be on time from now on!
Reality: The first week, i set serious time goals. I’m hyper aware of when I must arrive places and very cued in to how long getting somewhere might take. I add on “just in case” travel time that will help me not get set back by things I can’t control. It’s going great for a week. I’ve been early to work for the whole week and I feel good about this. I make plans to go meet some friends out. They are gonna be there around 10. Around 10? Hmm…no rush. I show up at 11:30. Whatever…it wasn’t that important and no one cared. Next week, I’m showing up to work right on time. I’d be early but it’s getting kinda cold out and my bed is really comfortable. Next week, I tell a friend I’ll meet them to see a movie. The movie is at 8 but we should get there at 7:30 so we can make sure it doesn’t sell out. I’m about to leave my place but get caught up in the end of this CSI episode. Oops. I arrive at 7:55 and the movie is sold out. My bad! Won’t happen again. Next week, I’m coming into work about 5-10 minutes late every day. By this time, I have forgotten I ever even made this stupid resolution so, see you next year!
Resolution 5: Be more caring to people who are less fortunate
Right off the bat, I donate some money to a cause. So, good start. I also gave that homeless guy on my block my leftovers. He asked what it was and if it had dairy in it. It did. Hope he’s not lactose intolerant! I go on the internet and look into possibly helping at a soup kitchen sometime. Maybe do some work with kids in halfway homes. Take a few notes of possible places I can work in. Put that not on a desk or table somewhere. oh wait, where’s I put that? Shit…it’s lost. Oh well, I can just go back online. I’ll do that later. Masterchef is on. I don’t do that later and never find that piece of paper. Cleaning lady must have thrown it out. Whatever, I donated money. That’s more than most people can say. Man, this wine is good. what was I talking about? I forget. God, I love wine.
But, hey…maybe you’re one of the exceptions. If you’ve made a new years resolution and truly tend to stick by it, I salute you. You’re a better man/woman than me. If it doesn’t work out though, don’t feel bad. New years resolutions are bullshit anyway. If you really wanna change , it shouldn’t depend on a roman calendar’s page flipping. You can always try again in june. Happy new year.