So it is a new year. It’s The New Year, and if you’re anything like me you are undoubtedly working on potential excuses to not have a resolution. It’s not a skill issue, I mean, I’ve done it before. Picking goals, keeping track, making sure everyone knows what true focus looks like. It’s not rocket science, it’s not even preschool science and yet at the end of the year I can’t even manage to pull together a token goal to impress my friends with.
The whole concept of making a New Year’s resolution is something so common that realistically I could or maybe should plunder the hopes and dreams of those around me. Just steal a resolution or two and play it off like I came up with it. That could work, right? Maybe embezzle a goal from the wife, or ransack the plans from my Dad. Heck, Pops and I look the same, maybe what he has planned for 2017 could work for me.
I honestly looked into it. No joke. I actually typed these words into Google, “Best New Year’s resolution ideas for 2017,” and I doubt any surprise will come from what I found on the results page. Take a guess on what the #1 thing on the list is. Oh and it is number 1 by a mile… Lose weight. So there you go, step one done. This should be my first and only stop in the resolution planning department but the fact that it’s so simple, and so necessary makes me think twice about it. So to me, I liken this to the moment when the percentage of answers on a Scan Tron test are “C” and I go back and erase half of them to make things seem more, well, balanced. The same answer so many times, that just can’t be right! Those of you reading this may have actually uttered the words, “That doesn’t work,” like Mrs. Gladstone just did, then you can take comfort in the fact you are a normal, possibly a well-adjusted individual because the Scan Tron thing, yeah, doesn’t work.
But like I said, I looked into it. According to Statisticbrain.com almost 22% of the New Year’s resolutions for 2017 are either weight loss, or eating healthier followed by some sort of life, or self-improvement. After those two which are really good resolutions come making better financial decisions and quitting smoking. Gosh, the hit parade of great ideas just keeps on marching along and yet I am still not even close to motivated to choose one. Also on the list is spending more time with family, finding a better job, and doing more good deeds. Yep, all good things, all good things. All things worthy of being called New Year’s resolutions and all of those things, except for the smoking bit, could enrich my life. I really couldn’t have asked for a better road map to success.
The Egalitarian in me keeps searching the web and is excited to read that only 41% of Americans actually makes a New Year’s resolution. Seriously, 41% of Americans. So I am normal, at least in this respect and then I find it. There it is, right there, sitting near the bottom of the page in the same black text on white background as everything else. And as I read the page I actually catch myself saying out loud, “Nine freaking percent,” and what could be interpreted as shock is actually the most informed I have been since starting this quest. According to the same site only 9% of Americans actually feel like they reached the goal they set when making their New Year’s resolution.
So out of 100 people only 41 make a New Year’s resolution. Out of those 41 less than 4 people will actually feel like they were successful in hitting their goal for the new year. Less than 4 people! That’s crazy pants! This kick starts the debate of why the heck would anyone set a goal if people fail so frequently? It also forced me to think about why people fail. And most of all it really helped me drive home how important the actual resolution is to the overall process. Yes, the resolution to pick actually matters!
Dear diary, this year I want to lose 80 pounds and have a 6 pack, oh no wait, an 8 pack before summer. Nope, not going to happen, ever… At least not for me. Dear diary, I want to get promoted and be rich. Yeah, that isn’t going to happen either. But it’s not all bad. Nope, the whole idea of setting the resolution and the process of trying to achieve the resolution seems to actually be the biggest part of the journey. People dream big, and really try to fix large personal issues in one fell swoop all for the sake of ringing in the new year with a bang. So here I am, sitting here avoiding the process of bettering myself because of what? Because I don’t want to commit? Because I don’t want to be like everyone else? Because it is just too hard?
I don’t actually know. I honestly have no idea but what I do know is every single year I do actually want to commit to something. So this year I plan to try a bunch of things. I plan to be a better father and husband. I plan to eat less food fried in oil, or fat, or grease, or things that make food taste good. I plan to work harder, and be a better boss. I plan to spend more time with the kids. I plan to pet my dog more often. I plan to love. Every gosh darn day I plan to love. I plan to love myself, others, my family, my job, everything… It might not be the best or clearest resolution but at the end of the day it’s something important to me. Maybe I land in the 9% or maybe I don’t, but at the end of the day I am going to have a whole lot of fun trying.
Happy New Year and #StayTwined