Ten New Year’s Resolutions I Intend to Break Immediately
Let’s say you make a New Year’s resolution. But you know you’ll end up breaking it. Is it still a resolution?
I’ll let others figure that out.
In the meantime, here are ten popular New Year’s resolutions that I intend to shatter from the moment I wake up on January 1st:
RESOLUTION #1: Lose Weight
People carrying a few extra pounds typically announce they’re going on a diet at the start of the new year. They intend to lose weight. My question is — why? You’re not chasing a magic number. A weight scale isn’t a barometer of happiness. Instead, the goal should be to get healthier. To feel better. Losing weight shouldn’t be the end game, but rather the consequence of striving for something higher. There are certainly ways to reduce weight, but they aren’t always healthy. They could even be risky. Your top priority should be to enjoy life to the greatest extent posssible. Sure, I’d like to drop a few pounds myself. But if I get through 2014 at 225 pounds (my current weight) and maintain my good health, that’s a victory.
RESOLUTION #2: Travel More
I love traveling. That is, once I get there. Unfortunately the journey getting from point A to B is often a miserable experience. Flown anywhere lately? Been strip searched by overzealous TSA agents? Paid $30 for baggage fees? Been sardined into a middle seat? Leisure travel can be a tremendously rewarding experience. But traveling just for the sake of going somewhere and then coming back again is often more stressful than a typical workday spent at home. Especially if you’ve got kids or pets. I hope to travel less in 2014.
RESOLUTION #3: Manage Stress Better
Zen philosophy is becoming increasingly popular in society. I can certainaly understand why. The problem with Zen is, it encourages us to disengage from challenges. I wholeheartedly reject this approach. Some things in life must be confronted. Always. Always. Always. And passion is often the rocket fuel that lights the engine. Vested emotions and intensity can be a great motivator. Zen people don’t usually change the world. People of action do. Passionate people do. I want get fired up about life, not skate through it more calmly. Forget worrying about rocking the boat. Rock the hell out of it. That’s my motto.
RESOLUTION #4: Drink Less Alcohol/Quit Drinking
If drinking is a problem in your life, then by all means do try to cut back and/or get some help. But let’s face it. Drinking serves as a wonderful bonding experience for many people. Without drinking, I doubt many people would be as close as they are. Booze is a sugar cube and a truth serum. While this freedom can be dangerous if abused, the loss of inhibitions can also be tremendously liberating. Think of it another way. I have a theory that outlawing bars (and forbidding drinking/intermingling of sexes) in Muslim countries frustrates the hell out of a lot of people, and that’s what causes half of the world’s problems. Open up bars all over the Middle East, and acts of terrorism would be cut in half. Yes, I truly believe that. As for me, I plan on drinking exactly the same amount with the same frequency in 2014 as I’ve done in the past. I see no reason to make changes. And, to reiterate my point — some places in the world need a lot more drinking, not less.
RESOLUTION #5: Get Out of Debt
I’d love to be debt free. I’d also like to be dancing in a giant field of yellow daisies. But the fact is, when the date December 31st, 2014 comes around, most of us are still going to be in hock up to our asses to the giant banks. We’ll still owe on our mortgages, own credit card debt, and have to beg some joker dressed in a golf shirt for a new car loan. I take a much simpler approach, a goal I can actually achieve. It’s this. Try and stop the bleeding first, which means not to take on any MORE debt. That’s the first goal everyone currently in debt should have, since our poor spending and saving habits likely got us into trouble in the first place.
RESOLUTION #6: Eat Healthy
I don’t believe in diets of denial. I want to eat good food and plenty of it. That means, I won’t be ashamed of enjoying my large portions, my red meat, my loaded baked potato, my real butter, my rich desserts, my deep fried foods, and pretty much whatever I want. That said, I refuse to eat fast food or consume prepackaged garbage that’s sold in supermarkets because that’s poison. And, I’ll never drink a soda, which is packed with sugar and chemicals. Never! So, that means I can enjoy just about everything else so long as it’s natural.
RESOLUTION #7: Be a Better Father/Husband/Friend/Son/Whatever
Sounds all warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it. The mantra goes something like this – I don’t spend enough time with so and so, which means I must change. Says who? You work hard, right? You earn the bread, right? You love your family and freinds and are there for them when they need support, right? I think it’s vital to be comfortable in our own skin. You also need your time, just for you. If people get offended by the things you say or do, maybe the problem lies with them — not you. Think about that. Be who you are and take time for yourself. You probably deserve it. And there’s no reason to apologize for feeling this way, just as those you care about also deserve their own time and space.
RESOLUTION #8: Go Back to School/Get an Education
I’m all for learning. Big time. But getting an education doesn’t have to cost you 30 grand a year. The higher education lobby has warped our sense of reality. They’re loading up millions of kids with crushing amounts of debt, and then providing few tools to escape the chains other than slaving away for years to pay off the loans (purely by design, I might add). Yes, I believe people should learn as much as they can, and get an education. However, it’s far easier to read a book on your own, or become part of a social club, or join an Internet group which provides opportunities to learn just as much. And, it’s basically all free. Learning shouldn’t be a once-a-year resolution. Education should be a lifelong mission that never ends.
RESOLUTION #9: Donate Blood/Give to Charity
This one will surely piss off some people. I’ve donated blood before. Many times. However, many blood banks (and drives) are nothing but scams. Make sure the blood you give is really going to someone needy and won’t be sold off for a profit by some medical company. When it comes to donating time or money to a charity, be sure they do what they say. And check out the salary of the head honcho running the show (non-profits are required to make this information public). Some of the biggest charities in America are detestable, horribly-managed, money-making enterprises. I give to charity when I can. But I refuse to give anything to a charity that pays fat salaries to its executives or is based in ridiculously expensive cities like New York and Washington. Move the charity to someplace where operating costs are significantly cheaper so more good can be done. The point is — give, but with greater discretion.
RESOLUTION #10: Quit Gambling
You’re kidding, right?