On New Year Resolutions, and my Secret Affair with Procrastination
Raise your hands if you are tired of people hogging gym equipment at the start of every New Year, and disappear before you can even spell resolution. Every year, I refrain from going to the gym on the first of January. (Well, I don’t go to the gym regularly throughout the year. But like everyone else who even passes through its vicinity, I like to flaunt it.) Not because I am tired from all the partying the previous evening. But because I do not want to put my hands on an equipment drenched with the sweat of a hundred thousand people who miraculously appear at gyms on the said day.
It’s not just the gym. I see people plagued by the resolve to lead a better life in the new year everywhere. On roads taking a walk, while yapping at a speed faster than light. At grocery stores, stocking up on all available flavours of green tea, and other dieting paraphernalia. At juice stands, gulping down concoctions from Satan’s own recipe book.
From trying to give up vices like smoking and drinking to studying hard, or learning Salsa or starting-up.
We burden the infantile new year with resolutions of all kind, and worse, expectations of achieving them.
After having failed repeatedly, within a week or finding another cool new resolution, I have given up on this tradition. Not because I am dejected by repeated failures. But because I have learned that my years turn out better, when I am not laden with the guilt of failing to keep a resolution to lose weight or learning to stitch handbags.
As a devout procrastinator – a notorious character trait of most writers, I find these resolutions too cumbersome.
Why demoralise yourself by setting up a mammoth target in front of yourself, at the start of the year? Instead, I break my targets into small bits and try to spread them evenly through my yearly planner.
I manage to achieve some of them like reading more books or eating healthier, while others like, going regularly to the gym, or getting more followers on social media, bite the dust.
At least I don’t end up feeling like a loser who has wasted the year away. I pick up my failures, dust them and add new mini targets to the bag of things I need to achieve, and start all over again next year.
The resolution should be to improve on your shortcomings, not on championing causes of health or adventures.
The most common reason why people give up on their resolves is that even a slight misstep in keeping it is counted as a failure. Maybe it’s time we lowered our expectations from life, and concentrate on improving what we have at hand. I am sure, such resolves would be easier to keep, and would lead to a happier life.
So, you can love them or hate them. Whether you ignore them, chop them up into finer pieces, or take them up head-on, is all up to you. I am just going to sip my green tea on the first day of the new year and watch people abuse the gym equipment from my balcony.
Source: Modesto Bee
Dr Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.