Posts Tagged ‘new year’s resolutions’

new year’s resolutions

01/31/2011

Oh crap, is it the end of January already? Did I miss the boat on  making my New Year’s resolutions?New Year's Resolutions

Nope.

You know why?

Because statistics show that 80% of people who  make New Year’s resolutions break them or give up on them after three weeks. Yeah, what you know about that?

I’ve been fond of saying that New Year’s resolutions are for the weak-minded…and I’m sure I offended just about 95% of those reading this, but that’s cool. What’s life if you don’t light a few fires? However, notice how I worded that sentence – “I’ve been fond of saying…”. Take that as meaning I’m open to other suggestions. And lately I’ve been reconsidering that stance (I’ll finish this thought later).

paramount pictures presents

Alliteration aside, my paramount question is this: why the hell can’t we make that “new year’s resolution” whenever we want? Why not on July 18? Or September 4? Or February 27? Why do we need to set aside a universally accepted specific date and time to decide to change something about ourselves? To me, a new year’s resolution is tantamount to saying “I’m too weak to do this on my own, so I’m going to wait until everyone else does it to [start getting in shape.]” [insert other resolution that will also be given up in same amount of time] This is evidenced in the afore-mentioned statistic.

hope

The primary reason people make resolutions at the start of the new year boils down to this one powerful word: hope. Someone hopes they can kick their habit. Someone hopes they can lose the tire belly by spring break. Someone hopes they can spend more time with their kids. And what better divide between the old and the new than the completion of one revolution around a G2V star? I mean, right?

Hope is the foundation of a functioning society – our desire, nay our need, for change. This is why we have celebrations year in and year out. Birthdays, anniversaries, 525,600-minute divisions, etc. If we, as a collective entity, hope that things can improve, or that we can change for the better, or that we can accomplish our goals, then we can make it happen. Without hope, society would be resigned to cynicism, apathy and probably a touch of anarchy.

Hope is why people vote.
Hope is why people get out of bed in the morning.
Hope is why people head to that job they hate to work for that boss they don’t like.
Hope is why people love.
Hope is why people war.
Hope is why we dream more in the light of day than in the silence of night.

the implications of hope

But in saying hope, what does that imply? Does it not imply dissatisfaction with our current situation? An “if only things were a little bit better” mentality? In hoping, are we merely resigning ourselves to the status quo, allowing us to say “it is what it is” for a time until things [hopefully] change?

Is hope, in and of itself, a weakness?

Hope can be both a strength and a weakness.

If we can’t hope for something better, where is the motivation to progress as a human being? To drive for a goal, even if that goal is to live without goals? Hope may very well be the first step toward anything worthwhile.

On the flip side of that coin, hope can incapacitate us if it doesn’t come coupled with necessary action. Sure, I can hope that I’ll one day write a best-selling novel. That statement, in and of itself, sounds pathetic. And ONLY because it does not imply action. If I hope for it, I have to take action. I have to sit down and fill those blank pages with my chicken scratch for hours on end.

your time

I think too many people pair hope and stagnation, albeit unconsciously. I know I have with a fair amount of my own goals. Take a nice long introspective look and see if you’re doing the same. Maybe some of the things you’re hoping for aren’t what you really want or can reasonably accomplish, given circumstance and time. “So many things to do, so little time.”

So no, New Year’s resolutions are not for the weak-minded as I have believed for quite some time. That’s taking it all at face value. But don’t be afraid to make that resolution on your own time, not based on earth’s revolution around the sun.

And if you’re part of that 80%, get your shit together and stop just hoping. Act.

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