New York City’s record-breaking snowfall this past weekend would’ve been all the excuse I needed to break my New Year’s resolution, if I’d had one. I did notice it all around me, though: Those who’d committed to Sober January had “just one, because what else am I gonna do?” Those who’d vowed to definitely, absolutely exercise every day couldn’t find it in themselves to do situps at home. And diets were back-burnered in favor of whatever comfort food was closest at hand. I think that’s totally fine, for what it’s worth. Committing to something should be an empowering, inspired choice, not a prison sentence.
Making resolutions is the worst, is it not? Not to mention a perfectly asinine way to ruin what should be the celebration of a new beginning of sorts. No need for the start of something new to come saddled with rules and baggage right out the gate. It’s an easy enough peg, sure: “New Year, New You!” flash signs plastered on family-sized cartons of protein powder and brochures for couples cooking classes. “We noticed you haven’t been around in a while,” says an email from a dating app you downloaded once and never found yourself single enough to actually use. “Why not come back and say hi?” How about you leave me alone, Terror Bot!
That said, finding excuses to sidestep commitments I’ve made to no one but myself is one of the things I most hate about myself. So recently, I’ve very pointedly decided to abandon resolutions in favor of common sense. Think too big in January, and find your steadfastness waning by April or May. This is my most recurring problem with resolutions, at least, and the thing that I begrudgingly admire most about those with a stronger resolve than me. In the past, I have gone all-in on a gym membership, or a class, or some other indoor activity, only to drop it as the weather gets nicer and I’m no longer surrounded by Seasonal Affective Disorder and the constant blanket of night. Blargh.
But, seriously, does anyone see their New Year resolutions to completion, or even February? Aren’t they usually a way to gnaw at some self-deprecating insecurity until you get tired and finally move on with your life? What New Year’s resolutions have you made that have actually stuck? And how did you keep at it?
Art by Jim Cooke.