Monday, December 31, 2012

The Only New Year's Resolution I Ever Kept

It's New Year's Eve... the end of another year. This is the time people like to make resolutions - promises for the new year, usually to do with behavioral changes. "I'm going to quit smoking" or "I'll quit drinking" are popular choices as are things like "I'm going to start working out" and other 'healthy' goals. The problem with New Year resolutions is they rarely work out. People almost always break them. I know I always did...

I used to make a resolution every New Year's Eve... usually something like those I've mentioned above... quit drinking, smoking, fighting... whatever. None of them ever really came from the heart. They were promises made because that's what you do at New Years, right? A resolution is almost mandatory, a way to look toward the future with a promise to personally make it better somehow yet does anyone truly believe in their New Year's resolution? I know I never did.

I'd make those resolutions (usually while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both) and I always broke them, often within 24 hours. It's no mystery why I broke the promises I made to myself... I didn't believe in them anyway. It was just the thing to do on New Year's Eve. Everybody was doing it and almost everybody was breaking them early in the new year. 

Breaking my New Year's resolutions shouldn't have bothered me. I always knew I was full of crap making them so why should I care if I broke them by doing what I resolved not to or ignoring the lifestyle changes I'd resolved to make? But I did care. It always bothered me... year after year after year.

Until December 31, 1979 - New Year's Eve of 1980. That was the year I finally got it right. The year I made a resolution I've kept for over 30 years and will continue to honor until the day I die. It wasn't a resolution I'd ever made before, had nothing to do with improving my life or curtailing bad habits. All it did was forever remove from me the issues surrounding New Year's resolutions. It is beautiful in its simplicity...

On Dec 31, 1979 I resolved to never again make any New Year's resolutions. 

That was the only resolution I ever kept. The only one I never broke. If you have a problem keeping the promises made under New Year resolutions maybe this one is for you too. I'm not saying don't want to improve yourself and your life, not saying those aren't great and noble things to strive for. All I'm saying is don't anchor yourself to one singular date to do it. Don't wait for New Year's Eve to make those resolutions, just get started whenever the time is right. Mark the passing of one year to the next however you want, party as much as you need or desire (or don't) but forget about promises made on New Year's Eve. 

A real promise to one's self comes on its own time.

1 comment:

  1. I quit smoking before New Years so that would have been a useless resolution. I did however vow to lose weight and I am sure I have already failed by gaining 4 pounds since I quit smoking lol.