I HAVE A LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS. On the one hand, the idea that I can rework my entire approach to life just based on a simple change in the calendar is very seductive. Of course, I never set modest or remotely reasonable-goals. Past examples include: “I vow to get abs like Cristiano Ronaldo”, “I won’t sleep in past 11am” and “I will be more conservative with my outfits.” (I recently found the latter written down in an old diary. The motive behind it or why it was important to qualify as a resolution, still eludes me).
During the weeks leading up to January 1st, the air is filled with a mass hysteria caused by scores of people over-indulging in the bad habits they wish to quit come that fateful date. I am no exception. Last year, I systematically drank my own body weight in Merlot, chased with Nandos chicken wraps (my two vices), and spent a week going out all night and sleeping in until 3pm. I have a feeling most of my peer group was doing the same thing; as they knew, come New Year’s, the cigarettes that they were chain-smoking would have to be put out and the cocktails they were clutching would have to be poured down the drain instead of their throats. Soon, the days languishing in bed, only venturing out come 8pm to go dancing, would be replaced by regimented work days and evenings spent sweating at the gym, and sipping on some green shit rather than a Long Island.
The worst part of the whole scenario is that hardly anyone ever sticks to their promises. I can count on one hand the people I know who have managed to follow through on any of these self-imposed vows for more than three months. My personal record hovers around two days, before I lapse into my old wine-fueled ways. I swear that I’ll return to virtuousness the next week, which turns into the next three weeks, which turns into the NEXT YEAR. I end up where I started, only unhealthier, more run-down, and generally confused about how the downward spiral happened.
Apparently, losing weight is the most common resolution, closely followed by improving finances. Others in the top 10: getting in better shape and quitting smoking. After those are wishing to go greener, getting a better job or education, spending more time with family, or being charitable. These are simple ideas, but more importantly, they signal a day and age which we need a fresh start more than we thought. When simply finding the time to sit down and eat dinner with those closest to you has proven too difficult to warrant places in the top 10 “must do’s” of people worldwide, it’s time to take the whole thing a bit more seriously.
Maybe if we all actually stuck to our resolutions, the world really would be a better place. This year, I’m replacing my random declarations with more important things, such as “get my fucking license this year” and “Make Money”. Maybe this time, I’ll stick to them. New Year’s resolutions aren’t fun when they involve things that not only seem impossible but also frivolous- in the end, who really needs or wants to stop drinking wine or buying so many pairs of shoes? But when they involve issues that threaten a person’s general happiness, it’s time to start appreciating this weird little ritual. And on that note; I’m off to drink a glass of wine.
Actually, I may just have two. OK… A bottle