Why I Don’t Make Resolutions

2019 is coming to an end and 2020 is almost here. It’s that time of the year when everybody starts making promises to themselves that they don’t keep. We call them resolutions. And it’s true, less than 25% of people who make resolutions keep them. Those aren’t very good odds.

Resolutions Are Little White Lies We Tell Ourselves

We all lie to ourselves, but if we know we’re lying to ourselves and we do it anyway, that’s even more messed up.

I rejoined the YMCA earlier this month. I didn’t wait until New Years Eve. I did it when I felt motivated to do it. I’ve been going regularly since. This is how I work. I make decisions. I act. I don’t wait until December 31st to write down all the stuff I failed at during the current year and then make a foolish promise to succeed during the next year. That’s stupid.

I could make a resolution to write a new book this year. But I won’t. Right now, I’m not motivated to write a book. I’m currently in a music and exercise mode. When I’m ready to write a book, I’ll write a fucking book. I could make a New Year’s resolution to stop cursing so much. Why? I might curse less, but I’d likely still curse. I’d just be setting myself up for failure and limiting my creativity. That said, I might curse less in my writing in 2020.

If resolutions are lies, why make them? I see little reason myself. Some might say that the effort is enough, but telling yourself lies and not following through becomes a habit.

Instead of Making Resolutions, Just Get Shit Done

So then, should you make New Year’s resolutions? I can’t answer that for you. Personally, I never really have, and I never will. Instead, I just do what I want to do when I want to do it. Sure, I might set a few goals, and I might even set some at the start of the year. But in general, I work more spontaneously.

I walk when I think I should walk. I write when I feel like writing. And I’ll write another book when I’m damn well ready to write another book. I’ll play my guitar when I realize I haven’t played my guitar enough for a period of time. I’ll lift weights when I sense I’m getting too soft. I’ll just do things on my own schedule.

No. Resolutions.

If you’re thinking about making some resolutions for the coming year, be honest with yourself. Will you really follow through? Have you followed through in previous years? Or will this be the year you’re really going to do it for the 17th time in a row?

Instead of making resolutions, what if you just started something with an open mind to do your best? If you don’t follow through, oh well. And why should you start on January 1st? My experience is that that day is one of the laziest days of the year. You’ve already set yourself up for failure.

Here’s as close as I’ll get to a resolution: Maybe in 2020, I’ll stop saying fuck as much in my writing. Then again, maybe I won’t.

I will, however, have a beer to ring in 2020.