New Year’s Resolutions? Not this year.

“A resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible.”
– Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd

I have made one big(ish) change this year, I’ve given up Diet Coke (which has become a slightly problematic addiction), but I’m not going to call it a New Year’s Resolution. The weight and significance of that label makes falling off the wagon or a non-starter even more embarrassing.

I have reached a point in my life where I see no point in allocating myself annual resolutions, knowing that from experience the course of a year can change drastically in the space of a few weeks. 365 days is a long time, you can become a completely different person from one month to the next; how can any 1st of January resolutions be malleable enough to withstand this process?

My resolutions of yore have leaned towards the general, everyone makes them, resolutions. Pointless statements I made to fit in to the resolution making crowd.

These are a few of my past and (mostly) failed at resolutions:

  • Write a daily journal
  • Stop drinking Diet Coke
  • Join (and use!) the gym

They failed not only because I am lazy, give in, or change my mind, but because they are statements devoid of meaning. Why should I write daily? Why do I need to stop drinking Diet Coke? Why do I need to join the gym? They are arbitrary, and if there is no meaning behind them why on earth should I want to stick with them.

New Year’s Resolutions ought to reflect what you want to gain from the year:

  • I will write a daily journal to keep me in the habit of writing and to gather ideas for which I can begin writing a book; I’ll record ideas and poetry that pop into my mind too.
  • I will stop drinking Diet Coke as not only is it poisonous and rotting my teeth, it gives me wind – no one wants a gaseous Alice.
  • I will join a gym as I am unhappy about the state of my body and want to get into shape so I can feel more confident about myself and in the company of others.

Making resolutions is not a pointless endeavour, I know people who thrive on a year of them! However, I am fickle and I have a habit of veering off course when being told what to do – even if the orders are coming from me.

This is especially applicable to reading; I know what I enjoy and I know there are books in abundance that I won’t discover without the help of others. However, I want to meet challenges are they happen, not set the standard by which I discover them. As long as I read widely I will be happy.

Have you set yourself resolutions?

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7 Comments on "New Year’s Resolutions? Not this year."

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Rory
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I pick goals for each month and try to stick to them. My goal for January is organization. I *might* (fingers crossed) be moving for a new job. So in the hopes that I get it, I’m trying to make sure moving for it won’t be such a huge hassle. If I don’t get it, my house will be clean and organized. Win-win.

I have the same problem with you as setting resolutions for myself. I tend to get a bit contrary when I’m told what to do, even if it’s myself telling me.

Charlie
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Your thoughts about whys are excellent, and adding details to plans does help make them reality. I got a day-by-day diary for Christmas and so far I’ve made brief notes each day but only because I’m currently remembering to do so – it wasn’t really a resolution and I reckon I’ll forget soon enough.

The most recent ‘update’ I’ve read suggests you’re doing okay with the diet coke, is that still happening?

Sara
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I don’t start New Year’s resolutions. Why? Because I don’t need a specific day to promise myself something I will never do. If I wanted to do something, I’ll just say I’ll do this and start doing it there and then.

I think New Year’s resolutions are something to show-off to other people sometimes, that you’re willing to change yourself, compared to others who haven’t set any goals. But then again…everyone forgets it by the time February comes.

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[…] Capital’s Secrets & Surprises by David Long is my second non-fiction in my quest (but, not New Year’s Resolution) to read a wider range of books this year.  Combining two of my favourite things, fairly useless […]

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