A New Year’s resolution, although often the offspring of positive intention and noble thought, is much like ignoring your mother’s caution and sticking your tongue on that frozen, metal bar in winter: It seemed like a good idea at the time.
The trouble with making New Year’s resolutions, as I see it, is that you’re setting yourself up for a fall. You make a vow to do, or not do, something that you know you cannot do, or cannot not do. You resolve, for example, to lose five pounds of flab, but you like chocolate swirl ice cream too much and it takes too much discipline to remove Haagen-Dazs from your diet, so you sit alone on the couch with a tub of chocolate swirl ice cream each night and stress over not losing those five pounds of flab, even though resolution No. 2 on your list is to bring less stress into your life.
Thus, you actually put on five pounds of flab and you’re now on meds to lower your blood pressure.
That’s why I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.
I compile a list of New Year’s unresolutions, instead. It’s sort of like that Seinfeld episode, the one when George realizes his life is a steaming pile of horse hooey and he decides to do the opposite of everything that seeps from his neurotic mind. Similarly, when I make my New Year’s unresolutions, I know there exists zero likelihood of me achieving any of them.
Take, as an e.g., the item atop my short compilation of 2016 New Year’s unresolutions: Date someone who has a penis.
You cannot even begin to imagine how distant that is from the realm of reality and possibility. I could have had dates with a handful of the penis people in 2015. A couple of them, strangers, approached me on the street and offered to treat me to lunch and/or dinner. Others, no doubt emboldened by the grape, pitched their woo in public houses. Alas, all had a serious flaw: They were men. Given that I prefer the company of women, they were barking up the wrong skirt. Thus, flattered as I might be if and when circumstance delivers similar opportunity in the New Year, I need only remind myself of my unresolution to date one of the penis people.
So, you see, it’s success by failure. I achieve my goal by not achieving my goal. Ergo no disappointment and no stress.
Were I, on the other hand, to resolve to date a damsel in 2016, there would be considerable pressure that would lead to considerable angst and, next thing you know, I’d be on the couch with a tub of chocolate swirl ice cream and putting on five pounds of flab.
It’s so much more magical that happenstance rule the day.
I could have this all wrong, mind you. After all, the brainiacs at statisticbrain.com say those among us who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than those who don’t explicitly make resolutions. Fine. Except for one thing: A mere eight per cent of those who make resolutions achieve their goal.
That’s why I resolve to unresolve.