Lose weight. Eat healthier. Start exercising. Start a new career. Save money. Spend more time with family. Stop smoking. Those are the predictable New Year’s resolutions pledged on December 31st, of each and every year, by well-meaning saps. Typically, a New Year’s resolution is simply another failed attempt, by the majority of people making them, at bettering one’s self. Anyone who makes a resolution that begins with the word, “stop,” is most likely doomed from the start. The chances of stopping any behavior, whether it’s smoking, overeating, or acting like a jerk, just because it’s the first day of a new year is pretty slim. If discontinuing an undesirable action was easily attainable then I would think a person would’ve already made the transformation, from smoker to non-smoker, from fatty to a lean machine, or from acting like a scoundrel to being a kindhearted person, without needing a specific day of the year to do so.
I understand envisioning January 1st as the day for making a brand new start, or turning over a new leaf, in one’s life because that is what’s commonly associated with the holiday. I myself have fallen prey to what is expected from the gullible at this time of year. The pressure of sustaining a New Year’s pledge is almost unbearable particularly when you’ve made your intentions known to others. Sure, being accountable to other people may help in your new endeavor for a while, but there’s no way around being thought of as a failure, by those you’ve shared your resolutions with, when inevitably you break them (usually within the 1st week). That’s precisely why I keep stuff like that private: so if I happen to fail then only I will know. In addition, I pride myself on being a man of action (not talk), so I prefer to begin losing the weight, eating healthier, or increasing the amount of weight I can bench-press before anyone else in my life even knows what’s going on.
I have been guilty, time and time again, of breaking weight loss “resolutions” all year round and on my own without needing “the man” (whoever that is) telling me to try again on January 1st. Besides, I always start my diets on a Monday, regardless of the time of year, and much more often than not New Year’s Day is not ushered in on a Monday. I suspect my lovely wife has the same theory as I do concerning diets because if we’re going to have fish for dinner sometime during the week then it’s almost always served on a Monday. By the time the weekend comes we’re both up to our armpits in pizza. The sad thing is I don’t care all that much for the Italian cuisine, but I’ll eat it if it’s placed in front of me. On second thought, I should be happy I am not a fan of pizza, or chocolate for that matter, or else it would be even more difficult for me to maintain my girlish figure. Who am I kidding? I haven’t been that slim since… never.
I make no bones about the fact my weight has radically fluctuated, like a guilty man’s lie detector test results, for most of my life. I can be a man of extremes, so it’s no surprise I’m usually in either a sumo wrestler frame of mind or in full-blown supermodel mode regarding my diet or lack thereof. I’m either polishing off a dozen doughnuts within a 24-hour period or keeping my calorie intake to less than 800 a day. You won’t ever hear me blaming slow metabolism or bad genes for my times of plumpness. I simply like food, especially sweets, and I lack any reasonable self-control once I begin consuming. Starting a weight loss program on the first day of a new year is absolutely the worst time for anyone to begin such a venture. The likelihood of a person overindulging in everything the previous night is too great, and surely there are still some Christmas goodies scattered about the house to tempt even a normally disciplined individual.
However, this New Year’s I will once again attempt to give up smoking although I already know it’s a battle I cannot win. The last several years I have taken up smoking cigars on New Year’s Eve so that I actually have a legitimate resolution to make for the coming year. The only problem is I’m destined to fail since the following New Year’s Eve I’ll be lighting up again; therefore, breaking my resolution on the 364th day of the year. It is a vicious cycle but one I do enjoy. That leaves me with only one serious resolution I can make in which I know I will be very successful at keeping. I resolve to continue being the same awesome person that I am in the year 2015. Let’s raise our glasses this New Year’s eve and toast to what this special time of year is really all about. Here’s to a day just like any other.