(The following is from my January 1 edition of Balancing Act, and I rarely publish the same thing twice, but I’m making an exception here, I hope you’ll cut me some slack.)
New Year’s Resolutions are just an excuse to pretend that we’re cognizant of our flaws, eager about improvements, and willing to take accountability for positive change. If this were an “over/under” bet in Vegas, the number would be 1 and I’d take the under. (Talk to your gambling friends if this is too obtuse.)
Minatory prospects of others holding us to our word possess little persuasive power (since we’re often reciprocally weaseling out of resolutions). Of course, we feel better having made the resolution—”I’ve finally decided formally that I will lose weight,” “It’s good to have acknowledged that I have to spend more time with the family”—but that is more than offset a month later when we’re depressed at our utter lack of progress in achieving it. (This is why February is such a short month. People can’t stand another couple of days of self-flagellation and need to hurry spring along.)
On a more localized basis, this is why garages are never cleaned out, bulbs not replaced, and cars not washed. (“I need to clean out this garage. Okay, that’s a great acknowledgement, I feel better already, I think I’ll go walk the dog.”)
You’re better offer doing something imperfectly than merely perfectly identifying it.
What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
— Oscar Wilde
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