Promises You Are Probably Not Going To Keep

Let us just imagine the average human being at a New Year’s Eve party, because that is where most people wind up making some sort of bullshit declarations of intended self-improvement, It’s getting close to midnight, they’ve been gorging themselves from the assorted troughs of food laid out by the host. If they smoke they’re probably sucked their way halfway through the second pack of the evening. They have, almost without a doubt, had too much to drink. In just a few short moments the clock is going to run out and it is going to be a brand new year.

Then what?

Is it even likely that, when the little ball drops that this person, this mere mortal is magically going to have the strength of will and the moral conviction to now embark on a journey of personal growth and spiritual advancement. They will rid themselves of one or more of their undesirable habits, or perhaps take up some new proclivity for exercise or other healthful activity.

What a wonderfully arrogant way to lie to yourself.

Quite frankly I think the whole New Year’s thing just cheapens the experience of doing attempting positive change with your life, its sort of the same way I feel Christmas does with giving or receiving gifts. I can’t recall a single gift I was given that made any great impression on me over the tradition and ceremony of the holidays in the long run. It is the unexpected gestures of appreciation and generosity that people offer throughout the year that always seemed make a larger impact.  I think that we use the custom of making those annual resolutions tends to lessen the impact of those promises; and it becomes just another convenient way to put off making those important changes for for a few more minutes or another day or until next year, rather than just going ahead doing those things now. 

Besides, no one ever keeps their New Year’s Resolution. right.

I don’t think I have bothered to make a New Year’s resolution in several years, and I don’t think I was very good at it when I did. I often wonder how many times I declared that, come the first of the year, I was going to quit smoking or stop drinking, or that I was going to start exercising, or some other nonsense. Chances are that I kept those promises for about two weeks, tops. I’m not sure when I got hip to the fact that I was basically unreliable, but all in all I think I’m happier for it. It’s not that I lack will power or resolve, after all I did finally stop smoking and sober up, and look at me riding my bike all over town. The difference was that I didn’t make any of that shit conditional on the changing of year. I was able to make these changes because they were needed and I made them as immediate actions without looking back.

If you need to change something in your life then make changes, not promises.