December 29th, 2023

About new year's resolutions

selective focus photography of fireworks display at night2024 is right around the corner. Besides looking at fireworks and getting used to saying and writing 2024 instead of 2023 when referring to the current year, the classic way of celebrating New Year's Eve is also to make resolutions. These typically revolve around somehow improving yourself as a person, such as (finally) making up one's mind of starting to regularly hit the gym, starting January. Obviously, these resolutions usually fail.

The first and foremost reason they fail is because there is no real motivation behind the resolution. People want to have nice things, and they want to have them easily. Achieving a nice physique – or even a better one than you have right now – is not fun or instantly gratifying, though. On the contrary, it takes a long time and will involve doing things which are not fun. The same goes for any other objective people find worthy to strive for. Simply wanting something and a happenstance of an arrival of a new year is just not enough to motivate anyone.

The second reason is that many lack the persistence to achieve long-term goals. Almost anything worth striving for does not come over one night, or even one month. Mostly, it takes years. This is why many fail at making big decisions in life overall, regardless of whether it is New Year's Eve or not.

For the coming year, that leaves us two better options than making classic resolutions. You either make resolutions that are minor enough so that you can actually promise yourself you will be able to succeed in fulfilling them with relative ease, or another option would be to scrap the whole idea of new year's resolutions entirely, and to think of ways to improve your life over the long term, and then being consistent about it. Even coming up with the right objective that you can follow through will in many cases take much longer than a couple of hours spent just prior to the calendar year changing, but that is also the idea. The journey begins at exploring different routes. After making up your mind, you will just have to follow through with it.

As a tiny disclaimer, make no mistake in thinking that I wish to belittle the smaller resolutions, for they have their place in our lives as well.

I very well know which path I will be taking when it comes to making resolutions. Do you?

Happy new year!