At my age, I’ve made thousands of New Year’s resolutions. All of them have been positive. For example: I will lose weight. I will save money. I will buy local. I will take my meds.
But like almost everyone else who has the best of intentions when making resolutions for the coming year, I failed. I gained weight. I spent more money than I made. I bought things in FLORIDA. I couldn’t remember I even had meds. (That last one is understandable when you know I was taking the medicine to improve my memory.)
As I see it, there is one obvious blunder we make when it comes to our resolutions. It’s the one thing we do that almost guarantees our failure to carry them out.
We tell people what our resolutions are.
We tell our family and friends exactly what we’re going to do to improve ourselves, to make better the lives of those around us, to treat folks with more kindness and generosity, and so on.
It’s obvious, isn’t it, that if we just kept our big traps shut, nobody would ever know if we kept our resolutions or not.
When some nosy relative asks if we managed to keep any of our New Year’s resolutions, we can smile and say, “Oh yeah. It was tough going, but I hung in there.”
And when they ask what our resolution was, we tell them whatever we actually accomplished. Nobody would be the wiser.
The problem with THAT solution, though, is also obvious. None of us have enough self-control to keep a secret. We want everyone to know what we intend to fix about ourselves. We want to know what they intend to fix about themselves. It’s human nature. We are social creatures who need to communicate with each other. It doesn’t matter what we communicate, only that we communicate.
Besides, making resolutions is fun. Sharing them is fun. And who among us doesn’t like fun?
I love fun. But it isn’t fun to fail at my resolutions and have everybody know it and mock me for it. So this year is going to be different. This year, my resolutions are going to be negative. I figure that way, I cannot possibly fail.
For example: I am not going to lose weight. I am not going to save one lousy dime. I am not going to worry about being abducted by aliens.
I believe I can rack up a one-hundred-percent success rate on keeping my resolutions this year.
But, you ask, what happens if I fail again? What happens if I actually do lose a pound or two? If I accidentally save a few dollars? If I wake up in the middle of the night surrounded by little gray men from outer space and DO start to worry about being abducted by aliens?
Well, since the future is unpredictable and strange things happen all the time, I have a plan already in place for my 2020 resolutions.
A plan that cannot possibly fail.
I WILL RESOLVE TO MAKE NO RESOLUTIONS!
I feel pretty confident I can keep that one.