I know that it's a bit silly. I understand it's probably not the most productive and valuable time to be making big changes in your life.
I'm also aware that I have a snowball's chance in hell of actually following through with that.
All that being said, I still make New Year's resolutions. I can't help myself.
I tend to do one of two things...
a) Write a list of resolutions and goals on a piece of paper and leave it in a spot where there's a good chance I'll see it every day — like inside my wallet, or somewhere visible on my work space.
b) Have one overarching big-ass resolution in my mind and try and take steps towards that goal every day.
Last year I made it to April. Pretty impressive by my standards.
It was a weird resolution: stretch every day. I'm super, super inflexible. Like, can't come close to touchin my toes inflexible. I wanted to be flexible. It was a good resolution. I saw progress quickly. Then I got bored because I didn't seem to be getting any more flexible. I started slacking off and I quit because I am a terrible person and I do terrible things.
Here are the reasons I keep making stupid New Year's Resolutions.
It's Nice To Believe You Can Change
It is. It really is. It's nice to think you can become a better version of yourself — and you can!
It's nice to imagine it without the effort of actually doing it. I think that's why making these lists is so cathartic.
It's A Good Chance To Evaluate Your Life
Sure, many would call it a pointless ritual that amounts to nothing, but I find it plenty cathartic to put yourself in front of the mirror and ask yourself, are you happy with what you achieved in the year that was? Could you do better? What could you do better?
It's sort of like taking your car in for a service. The mechanic is like, 'hey you probably need to change your brake pads, but it's expensive and it can probably wait until next time'.
You might wait until next time, but it's good to be aware of these things.
I Like Trying To Be Better At Things
You can't get better at things if you don't even try. So I prefer to at least try. Very few resolutions stick — but what if one does? And what if you get the benefit of sticking to a resolution for at least a short period of time? I only stretched every day until April, but I still retained a tiny bit of that increased flexibility and it was fun while it lasted.
New Year Is During Holidays, So You're Thinking About Stuff Anyway I tend to start analysing where I'm at and what I'm doing with my life during time off from work. You tend to be in a very different headspace then, you're off the treadmill and have time to evaluate. Why not take advantage of that?
You've Just Consumed A Lot Of Food/Booze/Drugs And Feel Bad About It
Of course this doesn't apply to everyone, but there is a sense that you've indulged a bit. For me it's chocolate. I just inhale chocolate for a 14 day period and I find it difficult to even type the word 'chocolate' without rummaging in my cupboard for some of those Lindt balls we got from my Mum, but never mind! Because it's almost 2016 and I'm going to change man. I'm going to change for good.
Everyone Else Is Doing It This is universally the worst reason to do anything ever, but bugger it. Everyone talks about New Year's Resolutions so you almost inhale that shit by ozmosis. It's part of the cultural conversation so why not embrace it. Almost pointless to resist something that has the potential to help you make positive changes in your life, right?
Clean Slates Are Nice They are. They feel good. Particularly if you feel like 2015 has been a bad one. It's nice to imagine your life changing with a New Year. Whether it makes sense or not, a lot of things feel new in the new year. Why not a new you?