Just three days left to figure out our New Year’s dissolutions for 2019. Yes, I said that right. The vast majority of resolutions made for the new year fail.
The reason for the failures would be that the resolutions corresponded with a certain day. In short, it gave us time to stall.
Waiting for a new year to make a change means we weren’t truly committed to the change to begin with. If we were, then we would have started the resolution the day it occurred to us that it needed doing. Waiting for a new year is just a delaying tactic.
The worst New Year’s resolution I ever made was a disaster. It wasn’t just that I didn’t keep it, but rather that it was a horrible idea in the first place.
From my missionary journal:
Tuesday, Jan. 1, 1974 Sunny/scattered clouds
We rode a bus to the beach with the branch members. The elders built sandcastles while everyone else went swimming. It was moderately fun but depressing. Made everyone think of home. I hope to make this year much better. In fact, 1974 will be a huge change. Today I covenanted with Heavenly Father to fit in better with the other missionaries so as to become just like them. Appointment this evening with investigators. Their dog bit me. Bled all over my suit. Damn nice New Year’s!
Getting bit on the same day that I made a holy promise to become a missionary like everyone else was a warning. I didn’t see it then. I did two weeks later, when I realized that I was NEVER going to be like everyone else. And if I kept trying, there was a good chance that I’d start killing them.
Everyone in the district breathed easier when the real Elder Kirby returned and refused to go out knocking on doors in the driving rain despite the outrage of a zone leader who — and I am not making this up — held his right arm to the square and commanded me to go, whereupon it was suggested that he go (know) himself.
Truth is, I’ve never kept a New Year’s resolution. Invariably, they were lies I told myself in an effort to become something other than myself.
This is not to say that New Year’s resolutions are categorically bad. Some people make them and keep them. It’s probably less than half a dozen people worldwide, but you get my point. Most resolutions don’t last past January.
This is not to say that change is all bad, only that it should be attempted in ways more apt to result in success.
For example, suppose you want to lose weight next year. Possibly even a lot of weight. Instead of telling yourself that you will avoid all drive-thru lanes, move to Somalia for the year.
I know, I know. It sounds crazy. What kind of person would do that? Well, someone who was actually serious about losing weight.
If you want to make a New Year’s resolution, come up with one that’s impossible NOT to keep. Mine are doing whatever my wife says, spoiling my grandchildren, not getting arrested, and to not have any surgery.
Robert Kirby is The Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.