New Year’s Day seems to be the benchmark for self-recrimination. This is the time of year when we check our profiles in the full-length mirror, measure our waistlines, inventory the contents of the fridge, evaluate our careers, dust off the seldom-used treadmill, and generally give our lives a quick evaluation.
Over the decades, I, like most people, have run the gamut of resolutions. I vowed to lose weight, get in shape, finish a domestic project, regularly exercise, make peace with an estranged relative, read more books, write more novels, gossip less, be more patient, join a Yoga class—you name it and it was likely on my list.
We are all well aware of our shortcomings and know what areas of our lives need improvement 365 days of the year, not just on New Year’s. So why do we wait until a new year to make an improvement, or at least make an earnest effort to improve? If on June 1st you get on the scale and the digital display makes you nauseous, why wait until January 1st to take action? Isn’t that ridiculous?
Okay, I’ll make a confession right here and right now: in all my years on planet Earth, I have never, I repeat, never followed through with a New Year’s resolution for more than a few weeks. With the best intentions I would get all pumped up with enthusiasm, only to come crashing down when I slipped into the same rut.
So, after careful thought, I’ve decided to finally make one last New Year’s resolution that I will absolutely stick to come hell or high water. My resolution this year is to never make another silly New Year’s resolution again for the rest of my life. If my belt gets tight mid-year, that’s when I’ll take action. I may fail, but at least I will no longer postpone what I know needs to be done by hiding behind some artificial date. From now on I am free to break these resolutions 365 days a year without having to wait for New Year’s Day. I feel 10 pounds lighter already.