I Resolve (not!)

December 20, 2010

2011 is just around the corner and every TV program, newspaper, magazine, and person I talk to is focused on one thing: resolutions!

I’m not into being dictated by the calendar when it comes to resolving things, but I am intrigued by those who fall into this trap year after unsuccessful year.

USA.gov compiled a list of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions (last updated: December 10, 2010):
• Drink Less Alcohol
• Get a Better Education
• Get a Better Job
• Get Fit
• Lose Weight
• Manage Debt
• Manage Stress
• Quit Smoking Now
• Save Money
• Take a Trip

There’s not one thing on this list that requires people to wait … what’s so special about January 1 any year? Why can’t people resolve to make all these changes in their lives on, say, March 6?

I mean, any day is a good day to take stock of your life and make amends, right?

And yet, I hear folks say around Halloween that they will lose weight in the new year (as they guiltily chew on generous helpings of pumpkin pie).

Come Thanksgiving, everyone tells me they won’t stress out next year or that they’ll drink less alcohol. They also resolve to spend more time with the family in the coming year.

Right before summer, I heard people saying they’ll save money to go on a trip NEXT year!

Whatever happened to the here and now?

I know, I know – just a couple of posts ago, I’d said I’m making plans to quit my job and start afresh. But that has nothing to do with a new year resolution – it has more to do with my commitment to certain projects. I can’t just get up and leave. But with things like getting fit or managing debt, why do people need to wait for the clock to strike midnight on December 31?

Isn’t it just a fad?

Just because everyone is doing it, we get sucked into the whole notion of “fixing” everything in one go. It’s a thoughtless strategy that’s bound to fail.

A 2007 Quirkology study confirms it:

At the start of the study, 52% of participants were confident of success. One year later, only 12% actually achieved their goal.

Well, of course, the success rate is so dismal – if it’s not something specific, well-thought-out and planned, and if you’re doing it only because of peer pressure, then what else do you expect?

Just to clarify, I’m not saying that everyone falls into the category of impulsive, herd-mentality, trend-followers, but a majority of the folks I interact with, do.

I’m also not anti making resolutions – any time you make a promise to yourself (presumably after some reflection) to improve your current state of existence, it’s a sign that you’re working toward becoming the person you want to be. But I am not so fond of the world declaring the new year resolution the all-important life-changing event it isn’t.

So, what’s your take on new year resolutions? How many have you broken in the past? And how many do you intend to make this coming year?

16081BD1A60533E0F1173D28DE4F0D3F I Resolve (not!)

dp seal trans 16x16 I Resolve (not!)Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mansi Bhatia

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3 Responses to I Resolve (not!)

  1. […] if you’re one to make New Year resolutions, then here’s something to help you get started.   Here […]

  2. Vidya SuryNo Gravatar on December 21, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    I resolve NOT TO RESOLVE

    • MansiNo Gravatar on December 21, 2010 at 9:57 pm

      Heh. Good one :-)


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