Monday, January 1, 2007

New Year’s Resolution. . .

I do not like New Year’s resolutions. I don’t know that I’ve ever made one. To me they seem as if they are designed to fail and to permanently keep you from accomplishing whatever goal you have set for yourself.

A resolution accomplishes nothing. When the U.S. congress or state legislatures want to have a little good press they pass a non-binding resolution, “Be it hereby resolved. . . . blah, blah, blah, blah. . . .” It costs nothing. OK strictly speaking the ink and the paper on which it is printed is a cost, but you get the idea. In general terms, if something costs nothing then you can be generally assured that it is worth very close to the same amount.

For most a New Year’s resolution is the same, a feel good proclamation that has no funding, no real commitment. Watch the parking lots at all the fitness or diet centers. It’s no surprise. We all know it. A few weeks after the turning of the year, the resolution fades into memory. We’ll try again next year.

And that leads to my second objection to New Year’s resolutions. Any life changing goal that I have attained in my life has come only after repeated attempts and failures, before eventual success. But one who uses New Year’s resolutions to try and accomplish their goals, by the very nature of that process, limit themselves to only one attempt a year. As an example: when I finally succeeded in quitting smoking, I had tried and failed not a few, but dozens of times. If I had only made the try as a New Year’s resolution I would never have succeeded. Each failure of mine, in the first weeks of January, would have been followed by 11½ months of waiting for the calendar to roll around again, rather than getting up from my fall, dusting myself off and going right back to the battle again.

What we need is not a New Year’s resolution, but an all year long revolution in our lives to effect any lasting change. We need commitment, resolve. We need an internal determination fought minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day to accomplish our goal. We do not need empty words merely proclaiming our desire. Steely ironfisted, uncompromising, unflinching resolve is required to accomplish any goal that is important. This year, make it not a resolution, but a revolution. . .