I have a few different New Year’s Resolutions. 1920×1200. 1280×800. 1024×768. 1920×1080. 1280×720. 1440×900. My laptop, tablet, second monitor, television, phone, and what I typically use for games, respectively.
Okay, it’s a lame nerd joke, I know. But I was thinking about resolutions today, being the new year and all. I was thinking about them while I was putting off writing my blog post for the day. And that’s when I realized: resolutions (that is, goals made in the heat of the new year’s regeneration frenzy) don’t make my life better. In fact, they might actually make it worse.
Most people make resolutions to better themselves. They want to lose weight, or write more, or finally take that trip they’ve been dreaming about. But the truth is, most of these achievements are unrealistic. They don’t want to “work hard at getting more in shape;” they just want to “be a size n-1.” They want to be something else, but don’t realize the hard work it will inevitably take to get there.
It’s no secret that most resolutions fail in short order. To think mine would be any different isn’t the most humble of worldviews. So if I made resolutions, and they are more likely than not to be broken, where would that leave me?
Feeling guilty about broken promises and unmet goals, that’s where.
It takes a lot of work to change one’s habits and/or personality. One of my loose, resolution-ish type things for this year was to be more disciplined with my writing. Needless to say, that hasn’t happened yet; I did my usual internet surfing/time passing thing, then finally got around to writing once my girlfriend had left work (which meant I had to finish before she got home). In other words, the inexorable pull of ADD was yet again too much.
As this happened, I started feeling guilty (something at which I have plenty of practice). Here I was, the earliest days of a new year, and already falling back into old habits. The Funk leered at me from around the corner; it could smell the direction of my thoughts, and they were tasty.
But I stopped myself (something at which I’m getting better) and realized the irrationality of what I was telling myself. Why would I think that a date clicking over would be like some switch being magically thrown in my head, turning me into a shining exemplar of punctuality and productivity? That’s as silly as thinking that I will wake up next Tuesday and be able to digest dairy, or that my ADD will magically fade into the aether. In other words, dumb.
So yeah, no resolutions for me. That’s not to say I don’t want to better myself. But a better way to do that, rather than digging pit traps for myself, is to avoid known triggers and setting myself up to fail. I’m going to try to take a less rigorous, hands-on approach to the next year. If I succeed in getting what I want, great! If not, then so it goes. Life’s too short to be neurotic. I’d rather be content.