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Another thought on New Year’s resolutions

A New Year’s resolution is a commitment, which implies effort, which implies work.  Right?  Judging by the 62 per cent of respondents to a recent NZ Herald poll that didn’t make any resolutions, most people would agree with that.  (Or perhaps they couldn’t be bothered making a resolution in the first place.)  Why give yourself more work than you already have?  Why make yourself do anything?  (Unless your resolution is something like stop smoking or stop being obese, in which case it would be fairly important.)  Modern lives are full enough without fulfilling some extra workload we have given ourselves.

But I’m not a wuss.  New Year’s resolutions are equally, if not more, an annual opportunity—undisturbed by the normal burdens of work or school or both—to reflect and make oneself a better person.  A chance to use a new start—one that comes every year but a start nonetheless—to fulfil a part of oneself that lacks.  No-one will ever be perfect, but there is nothing wrong with taking that step closer—we we will be all the better for it.

Nevertheless, I grow sick of certain resolutions which I have failed or in part succeeded in the past.  Flossing is not something unbeknown to me; it is something I understood first two years ago.  While it is something that must be done, it would be both foolish and boring of me to declare it a resolution again.  Likewise, keeping physically fit is not a recent decision.  It is something I realised after my fitness levels fell rapidly—very rapidly—after I stopped practising taekwon-do in late 2004 and failed to get into a school basketball team in 2005.  I did not fail this resolution in 2006, even if I did not succeed: committing to a school hockey team and a basketball team for a social tournament in April is sufficient to show, at least, that I made a genuine effort.  But you can’t defy genetics.

It is in light of the above that I resolve to remove the flossing one and the sports one from this year’s resolutions.  To keep part of my mind on these repeats, which my mind has been on in the past, is almost a guaranteed formula for demotivation.  No, this year, I move to other things.  There will be no need to replace the two removals.  The three remaining are enough.

Related links and permalinks to earlier related blogs of mine

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