What drives people to make resolutions they really do not intend to keep, just because the calendar changes from one year to another? Everyone is guilty of it at some point or on some level. For example, if you want to start watching your weight or begin to exercise, why can’t you do it on March 29 or June 11, or whenever you are ready? What magical powers does Jan. 1 have?
If the start of a new calendar year helps you make “changes” in your life, more power to you. In the past, I’ve also used the start of a new year to help me get motivated. As you wait for the ball to drop, you reflect on the easy choices you’ve made, like stopping at Chipotle or ordering Pizza instead of cooking.
During those final hours before The Honeymooners marathon, you stare down at the cheese dip and declare, “This is it, starting tomorrow, I’m going to make better choices,” then scoop and devour as if those calories get negated come midnight. Two pieces of chocolate cake and a handful of cookies later, this year is ending on an eating binge.
Come New Year’s Day, the payment for the atrocities of the previous night come due and you are stuck with the bill. Time to reassess your lifestyle and put into play all the resolutions you declared the night before. Like most, I have promised to eat better, exercise more and lose weight. More than 30 percent of people who make resolutions vow to achieve all three of these goals. Other top resolutions are “learning a new skill” and “saving money.” Did you know that more than half the people who make New Year’s resolutions feel they are unattainable, yet they sheepishly make them anyway?
I have learned from past disappointments of not keeping my New Year’s resolutions. I think I know my limitations, so this year, I am making resolutions that I know I will keep. Granted, they are all things I promise not to do, but we are trying to be realistic, aren’t we?
I am not going to join a gym. With money spent over the years on gym memberships, I could be driving a BMW. I start out strong, buying into the hype and promise of a healthier lifestyle, but I fizzle out way too fast. If I was serious about exercise, I could walk Louie the Labrador or take the stairs more often. Besides, I need to lose 20 pounds before I can be seen working out in a public place.
I am not going to eat healthier. I will try and make better choices, but I am not going to eat healthier. Did you know the word “diet” is French for “tasteless?” Just because vegetables are healthy doesn’t mean I’ll begin eating Brussels sprouts or grilled asparagus. I like gluten (whatever it is) in my food. I like carbs, but based on the amount of carbs I eat, I could probably run a marathon every day for a month. My mother always told me you can eat whatever you want in moderation. Unfortunately, if you’ve ever eaten at my mother’s house, you pass moderation in the first 15 minutes.
I am not going to lose weight. Based on the resolutions mentioned above, this one might be very attainable. I always fluctuate from week to week or month to month, but somehow the scale in January always equals the scale next December. I’m not planning on gaining weight, so isn’t that a good thing?
I am not going to learn a new skill. How many more skills does a 60-year-old man need to know that he hasn’t already mastered? Should I take up plumbing or car repair? I have enough home improvement skills to replace outlets and light fixtures or patch damaged walls. I have already fixed leaky toilets. I am a person that can follow written direction very well. I’m a master at putting together furniture from IKEA or FURN-A-KIT. I’m not going back to school to be a doctor because, quite frankly, I can’t stand the sight of blood.
For me, I know these resolutions are money in the bank. That reminds me, I’m probably not going to save any money this year, either. I wish all of you the best of luck in keeping your resolutions. Anyone want to share a “bloomin’” onion with me? That’s a vegetable, right?