Why do you people make resolutions on January 1st each year? I don’t understand it. Well, I do. Of course I do literally, but really, I don’t understand. Why set yourself up to fail? Because that’s what you will do. That’s what happens each year. Walk with me:
You say you will lose 5 kilos. You do not. You say you will go to the gym five times a week. You go five times the first week, three times the second, one time the 3rd and by the last week of January, you are back to lying on your sofa, eating potato chips and watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey wrapped in the orange and brown afghan your dead grandmother crocheted for you 20 years ago.
You may stop smoking, but only for a week. Tops. And then you will hate yourself for not being able to stick with anything. Especially something which could SAVE YOUR LIFE. You will be so disgusted with your lack of discipline and willpower that you will march right to the frozen aisle of the Migros and buy a giant tub of Mövenpick double triple chocolate infusion disgust and barely get back home before ripping into that baby, grabbing a dirty spoon from the sink and eating, standing up, until you feel nauseous and hate yourself even more.
See? No good can come of this.
You will not stop biting your nails, watching porn or stealing your neighbor’s newspaper, you will not wake up 1/2 an hour earlier to do yoga, you will think about meditating - you may even buy an app to help you, but you will never open it, you will not stop drinking coffee, or give up refined sugar and most definitely you will not be able to stop drinking alcohol . . . (who would make a concerted effort to do this?!) so why bother making these grandiose public statements while wearing a silly hat and holding a coupé glass of mediocre bubbly in your hand at midnight on December 31st?
I’ll tell you why. Hope. We are intrinsically hopeful beings. We need to hope, to dream to wish. Without thinking and hoping and believing we can do better, what is the point, really? Hope in and of itself is not a bad thing. But one must be realistic.
It’s not so bad to want to - to try to - do better. To stop having one night stands with unavailable people, to stop stealing things from the brokihaus or to stop spreading gossip about the impossibly perfect blonde who just moved in next door, but why must we make a public statement about our intentions?
Will we not do it unless there is a witness? I gather this holds some truth. And I’ll give you that. After all, we are all more apt to show up at the gym if we’ve promised our friend we’ll meet them for the 2 hour, ass-busting spin class taught by the 0% body fat cyborg. No one wants to face the wrath of a jilted gym partner. It’s not pretty.
Here is my solution to all this nonsense. You needn’t completely give up, just don’t go over board. Maybe decide to do one thing. Bathe daily. Or floss once a month. Take the trash out before being asked . . . Those are doable. For most. And then - don’t tell anyone. Let it be your little secret. Your little daily pat-on-your-own-damn-back. It feels great. Trust me.
Because we are not impressed. We are terribly self-absorbed. We all have our own shit we’ve promised ourselves and others we’d do this year, which we will inevitably fail at, but trust us, we will be less impressed with you, perhaps even prone to ridicule, if you make an outlandish resolution and then fail miserably before the first month of the year is even through.
You are not a bad person. You are human. Stop trying to be perfect. You’re putting too much pressure on yourself, darlings.
If, in June, you are svelte, smoke-free, and incredibly flexible, then we will know you have worked hard and accomplished something. And you didn’t even need to announce your intentions publicly to the world or post daily updates on Facebook. These solitary and humble accomplishments mean far more. And think of the gloating you can do!
Now, I would be a terrible friend were I to leave you without sharing a few of my own 2015 resolutions (yes, yes, practice what you preach and so on . . . the truth is, I can’t resist self-sabotage alongside the rest of you): to get expensive gifts in the mail from strangers, to know what it feels like to drive an Astin Martin DB9 on the Autobahn and to stop cursing like a sailor. Wish me luck.
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