Revolutionary approach to resolutions
Sunday, December 29, 2013 12:00 AM
New Year's resolutions anyone?
Yeah, it just seems too high pressure to put yourself in that kind of predicament. We've just come off about six weeks of pre-, present- and post-holiday feasting and whatnot and are rolling right into another opportunity for one more excuse to drink and eat excessively in greeting the new year. And then we are supposed to just cut all that off the next day? Wake up about 4 o'clock the next afternoon and spew a bunch of lifestyle changes we, along with the rest of the nation, are supposed to keep?
Even those who do not ring in the new year with eating and drinking are under high pressure to produce a list of resolutions that are probably highly difficult to maintain.
How many of us had practice runs leading up to Thanksgiving, the day it seems someone fires a starting gun to signal the beginning of a race? Only this race is to see how many inches we can expand the waistline by year's end. And then what have we done? On New Year's Day, as we try to slide into the pants we easily wore in June, we swore off eating and signed up at the gym. We have hit that gym Jan. 2 with the best of intentions, our resolve showing on our faces. That resolve soon gives way to a look of surrender. The gym becomes just another building we pass by on our way to work. Or worse, on our way to the grocery store. We vow to return, all the while hoping the mere possession of a gym membership card will somehow shrink the gut and waist.
Why do people do that to themselves? No, not the six to eight weeks of incessant eating and drinking in holiday celebrations. Why do people put themselves under such intense pressure and scrutiny by uttering New Year's resolutions? Far better to publicly flog yourself, it seems, and get it over with.
THE WISER CHOICE BY FAR would be to handle such matters at a different time of year. April, May or even June would be better than the very first day of the year to make resolutions. And quietly. No need to stick your neck out there on Day One of New Year and loudly proclaim to the world — or, at least, to family and friends — that a brand new you is breaking free. It's great if you have that kind of resolve and inward strength, but if you do, then you really don't need New Year's Day for resolutions anyway. The rest of us can save ourselves undue stress and embarrassment through subtle changes made when the pressure's not on.
Making New Year's resolutions is kind of like being a smoker who decides to kick the habit the day his wife files for divorce, he loses his job and his long-time companion, his favorite dog, runs away.
But if you are really compelled for some reason to participate in the annual resolution frenzy, be sensible about it. Make sure it's really something more doable.
Resolve, for example, to stop mixing whites and darks when doing the laundry. Or resolve not to let the dishes pile up in the sink or dishwasher until you find an empty cabinet and utensil drawer at mealtime.
Resolve to roll matched socks together as they come out of the dryer. Resolve to turn lights out around the house when you're not using the room. Even if you're on the old Duke rate.
Some of these are more easily done and don't increase your stress level, especially coming off the hustle and bustle holiday circuit. And it's easier to put up a few Post-It notes about laundry, lights and socks as helpful reminders than it is to, say, quit eating. Or drive to, not past, the gym.
Better yet, and just to be safe, resolve not to make New Year's resolutions at all.
Whiting is executive editor of the Index-Journal. Contact him at 943-2522; email firstname.lastname@example.org ,or follow him on Twitter at IJEDITOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.