I’ve been thinking lately as to why the idea of New Years Resolutions bothers me so much. The idea that people want to change their lives for the better and use January 1st as their start date shouldn’t be looked upon with heavy skepticism, but rather it should be applauded.
Acknowledging that something is wrong or lacking or perhaps just off in your life and having a desire to do something about it is commendable. Right?
Yet over the years – through observation of others and personal experience – the failure rate for New Years Resolutions is astronomical. It’s almost laughable that people quit within a week. In those rare cases, a month.
11:59 p.m. New Years Eve: “Man, I gotta quit. This is my last cigarette!”
8:01 a.m. New Years Day: “Yeah, I know what I said last night. Will just find my damn lighter, please!”
Success or failure – and perhaps my issue with resolutions in the first place &nash; may very well come down to semantics. There’s a difference, at least from a mental aspect, of a resolution vs. commitment vs. goal vs. creating a 2017 to-do list.
By definition, a resolution is a “firm decision to do or not to do something”; it’s an all-or-none proposition. When you make a New Years Resolution, you either do it or you don’t – and the moment you don’t, it’s usually game over, better luck next year and you revert back to the status quo.
When you set goals or even commit to something it’s implied that it will take time to achieve. There are reasonable expectations of set-backs, failures or bumps-in-the-road.
Again, it might only be semantics in calling it what you want but the potential success rate increases when it’s understood there’s a built-in margin of error and that it’s ok to slip.
Personal Goals 2017
For me, I will not be resolving to do anything in 2017. That said, I am committed to the following…
From July 2015 to around March 2016, I lost 20 pounds and felt great. Unfortunately, I have gained much of it back. It’s not unrealistic to believe I can do it again so I’d like to drop 20-25 pounds in 2017. If I fall a little short, that’s fine. I still win.
Good or bad, I’m registered for back-to-back Spartan races in February and I’m too damn stubborn to forfeit the registration fees by not doing them. I’m committed (or perhaps should be committed). Aroo!
Additionally, I want to continue the recently created tradition of having my family more involved in OCR (obstacle course racing). I had such a wonderful time doing the Terrain Race with my wife and young sons last year and look forward to a repeat (and more) this year.
Being a better person
This goes without saying. It should be everyone’s intent to try and improve themselves – not just for 2017 but all the time. Be it as a father, husband, friend, co-worker, teammate, etc., we all need to strive to be better.
(And yes, this includes social media where I tend to throw the occasional jab and insult at someone for being an idiot.)
And that’s it, really. There’s no need to make a long list of stuff and limit myself to the 365 days of 2017. Anything you want to do better or to improve on should be a continuous endeavor no matter what day of the year it might be.