Towards the end of every year, each person inevitably does two things: makes excuses and makes goals. With Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve every person tells themselves, “It’s the end of the year and the holiday season. I have every right to indulge a bit.” So, they eat that extra helping of turkey, latkes, cookies, and champagne. With the new year in sight, they scramble to compile a massive list of things they should be doing.
In other words, the last month of the year is like a conscious version of every other day of the year. Everyone thinks about how hard they have worked or how much they need that little something, so they indulge. And anywhere from one minute to a few weeks later, the side effects kick in and they unavoidably feel a sense of guilt and a motivation to do better in the future…the future being tomorrow. People are simply not as aware of this fact as they are in the latter month of each year. This is not only completely natural but compulsory as everyone does it – conscious or not.
To be poignantly blunt: If you didn’t do it today, you’re not going to do it tomorrow. Take it from the person who has set the goal of losing weight for the past 20 years (with the opposite continually occurring). “I’ll start tomorrow.” “An hour from now will be a new day.” “I’ll only eat half the pan of banana bread.” It only goes from reasonably expected to clinically insane. So, completely normal.
Despite all of this while knowing that setting goals and breaking most of them by February is a natural way of life, I am making one of those lists. Behold the inevitable onslaught of clicheness that are New Years Resolutions:
1. Write a Novel (and by write I mean finish writing).
2. Lose (some) Weight.
3. Be Happier/More Calm/Don’t Freak Out About Everything.
4. Learn More About Czech Culture (i.e. Food).
5. Travel to Three Other Cities.
6. Draw/Create Something Once/Week
I believe that the only way to actually complete a goal is to do one of two things with said goal: Make it so general that you would have to simply not try to fail (i.e. Lose Weight) or make it so specific that you naturally achieve it through repetition (i.e. Read 100 Books). As Dr. Seuss said, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…Only you can control your future.” Apparently I’m ending this year and starting next year with quotes…