Rant: Make or Break – New Year’s Resolutions

The year’s about to end in a few hours and I bet there are people everywhere who are working on their new year’s resolutions. I’m going to start by stating that I have done this before and have completely renounced this tradition. Why? Because the tradition feeds on the hype of something exciting coming up – 2015, and like all promises created at the heat of the moment, are never followed through.

Here are the 10 most common new year’s resolutions that ALMOST ALWAYS never last:

  • “I promise to eat less, get fit and be hot.”

Admit it. At least one time in our lives we’ve felt insecure about our bodies and the most common scenario is that you’re “too fat.” Girls often want to lose weight because of their insecurities with the people and the media around them. Guys on the other hand, might want to get fit to attract the object of their attraction. I’m not generalizing, its just that around here where I’m from, this is what I hear. Well that, and just wanting to feel better about themselves when they post selfies on their social media accounts.

I’m not saying it’s a bad goal. But I am saying it’s a bad way to motivate yourself. Maybe a better way to achieve this goal is remembering or at least, to put in mind that this goal is for yourself and not you conforming to the standards imposed by society. Honest and legitimate progress in this form of self-improvement is evident for (a) the people who have life-threatening diseases and require exercise to lengthen their life (b) characters from action films who want to exact revenge on morons who have done him wrong (c) are habitual health smarts and have always made the conscious effort to live life naturally.

  • “I promise to quit [insert unhealthy habit here] starting this year.”

If you’re a habitual smoker, drinker or party hopper – or if you’re more like me whose problems involve spending too much time on the TV, PC, and phone – pretty good chance that you’ve imposed this on yourself.

First of all, the new year is NOT a ceremonial send-off for you to HAVE to stop on this day. Stop as soon as you’ve identified the problem. Second, addictions are hard to get over by yourself. Try to consult a doctor or refer to your nearest rehab facility or counseling service to help with your addiction. And lastly, if you really wanted to stop you would’ve done so a long time ago – do not underestimate the power of human will and internet ‘how to’s’ although they’d probably tell you what I already have in this blog post.

  • “This year, I will learn to relax and not stress out so much.”

Seriously? Unless 2015’s declared a year-round non-working and school holiday, then you’re already deluding yourself. Every day and every year, you cannot deny that you are given time – although painfully brief, moments of relaxation every day, and in several intervals scattered throughout our existence. Every other time we’re working, stressing out, and spending our time as we see fit.

Maybe the reason why we make this resolution is because we experienced something in the previous year that tested us and stretched our limits. This kind of proves my claim that this resolution is kind of pointless. The rule of happenstance is unpredictable. One day you’re the best version of yourself but the day after that you’re faced with a mountain of responsibilities and deadlines. Revise this resolution by saying that you’ll do better and that you’ll face these scenarios with a braver face. This will male the resolution more possible – unless of course you’re going to stop trying anything in order to NOT achieve or fail at anything, but that’s boring. Don’t do that.

  • “I will spend more time with my family and learn to get along with my siblings.”

This is a really nice and mushy resolution to make, but sad to say this is on the list of the resolutions that don’t always work out. If you really wanted things to work about better in your family – assuming you have issues, then you would’ve already tried something to fix what needs to be fixed. But if you really insist, then try to plan family outings, encourage a healthy exchange of stories over meals or surprise them with a special meal you made for your family to share. Don’t stop when the hype of the new year dies. Keep the family spirit up. These things might not generate desired results in a snap but believe me when these things happen, you’ve stirred something in your family. Everything else will follow through, I swear.

  • “This year, I promise I will save a lot of money for [insert expensive reward here].”

It’s either you’re a shopaholic, an impulsive buyer, or your allowance/pay check isn’t exactly as rewarding as you think it should be. Regardless if it’s a MacBookPro or an expensive piece of clothing you’re after, you’re probably starting to think of how you could save for these things, thinking about budgeting, keeping receipts and pay back debts. This will look promising now, but saving is a difficult task – you have to eat, remember?

  • “I will do better at school/work and get good grades/a raise or a promotion.”

I have no idea why I thought writing this down before works because honestly? It never has. Like every other promise, you’re probably prone to break this because (a) you like to procrastinate (b) you don’t plan for things (c) you never take action (d) you don’t take things seriously (e) or worse, yet, you do all that was mentioned.

  • “I’m going to do good this year by helping out in my community, like the [insert social cause/charity here].”

Oh please. If you can’t give a damn about your neighbor or your annoying co-worker and everyone else in your direct neighborhood then how can you support a social cause that helps people you don’t know? This isn’t to say that you have to fly to Africa and feed the kids there, but at the very least, don’t paint yourself in the image of an altruist if you’re simply donating money for these causes. These people who are really dedicating their life for the cause are thankful, but try not to jerk your own chain.

  • “I think this is the year I’ll let myself settle down/fall in love.”

The right one comes when the right one comes and promising to achieve it at the beginning of the year is just you trying to rush cupid and ending up at the bottom of his priorities. I’m not a love expert and I don’t claim to be one, but the best advice I can give on this subject is by linking this wonderful piece by Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye called “When Love Arrives”

  • “I will be a better person than last year.”

I think the whole practice of writing down your resolutions falls under this. The problem is that opportunities to change don’t happen all in the same day and on the beginning of every year, but instead, these opportunities are spread out for the people who are destined to have them. A promise to be nicer, more confident, to change all fail because not only are we tempted to avoid these situations, but often we surrender to blame our existing insecurities when we cannot – or will not, succeed. Change will come in many forms but it will not appear as a straight trail of breadcrumbs to follow a better year.

  • “I WILL STICK TO MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS.”

This so does not need an explanation.

I guess I’ve made my point, and I’m sure as hell am glad that I get to make this final post for the year 2014. Even if it is a seemingly sour start for 2015.

Still unbelievably optimistic for tomorrow,

Enya

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