Looking for Some New New Year's Resolutions

by DavalosMcCormack on December 28, 2009

Each year I resolve to find new ways to avoid making New Year’s Resolutions. So far my success rate is 100 percent. I have yet to fail to not keep a resolution I didn’t make. So I can look back over the year almost gone with a sense of achievement and satisfaction, knowing I succeeded in meeting my goal. I haven’t done any of the things I set out not to do.

Now the big question of course is what not to resolve not to do for 2010. Here’s some of the ideas I am considering.

  • I will not compete in a Triathlon.
  • I will not win the Nobel Prize for Literature or Peace. Or chemistry. Or physics.
  • I will not date either Lindsay Lohan (that didn’t work out last time) 0r Amy Winehouse. And certainly not both at the same time – of course having a court order forbidding that helps!
  • I will not renew my subscription to AOL (does anyone still pay for email?)
  • I will not climb Mount Everest (it’s so friggin’ cold up there, and once you get to the top there is nothing to do except come right back down, I mean, what’s the point?)
  • I will not swim the English Channel – that’s why god invented ferries

So, plenty of ideas for me not to think about working on.

But obviously other people have other ideas about the value of resolutions. In the supermarket line the other day – where I love to tap into the zeitgeist (that’s German for “spirit of the times” – which reminds me that maybe I need to stop using foreign expressions that no one understands, it’s rather arrogant, n’est ce pas?) – Anyway, the two lads at the checkout counter were talking about their New Year’s Resolutions. One was set on choosing some really tough ones – lose weight, get an MBA, learn how to speak Swahili. The other was a chap of more modest but perhaps more realistic sensibilities – floss more frequently, eat a little more fruit and a little less crap, drink a little less.

I suppose in the end it all comes down to what you want to do with your life. I think if a change is worth making then make it. Today. Now. Or at least begin the process of changing. Why wait for some arbitrary date just because you have been told that it’s traditional.

If you want to give up smoking, give it up or start cutting back today. Your lungs really don’t want to wait any longer. If you want to learn a language go and rent a movie in that language today and study the subtitles, imagine how cool it will be in a year when you can watch it without those. You might even learn a couple of really cool words to drop into conversation with others – like ‘zeitgeist’.

In short, what are you waiting for?

But before you commit yourself to one of these changes take a realistic look at yourself. Is this something you really want to do, or is it just something that you think sounds cool, an idea that would be great if it happened but that is not very likely. That’s why I don’t resolve to learn how to play the piano or the violin or the recorder (for which you should all be grateful) – because I know the odds of it happening are slim, I really don’t care enough about it.

Finally, what happens if you slip up, and you will, because sooner or later everyone slips up. Do you write the resolution off as a  bad idea and resolve to do a better job next year? Or do you simply get up, and start again, knowing that the things that really matter are worth persisting with. If you don’t make it a huge NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION, and instead make it something you really want to do the odds of succeeding are greater. Not great, just greater.

Even if you never quite succeed you will always be doing better than you were.

But if you are thinking of making one resolution please please please don’t let it be going to the gym more often. Particularly if you live in San Francisco and go to my gym. Every January the place is filled up with people who won’t be there in April. So spare yourself the expense and more importantly save me the inconvenience of having to wait to do the exercises I want to do. Going to the gym is hard enough without making it any harder.

I know. I’m a selfish bastard. But isn’t that the point of having your own blog!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Toni Brayer, MD December 29, 2009 at 10:35 am

I love your resolutions. I think I will try some of those this year since I really want to succeed (for a change) in keeping them.

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