“They” say that 80% of us will fail on our New Year’s resolutions. I like those odds so count me in!
Of course, one of mine was to get a post about resolutions up by Jan. 1. Oops. Missed it!
Personally I think waiting for a date on a calendar to try to make a change is a bit silly. If you want to improve something, go ahead and do it now. Why wait?
On the other hand, the first day of the year is a very easy day to remember. It will help you with one of the principles of Kaizen – namely, if you measure something it will improve. “How long has it been since I bit someone’s throat? Oh yeah, New Year’s Day. Now I remember!”
Before I pontificate further let’s do a little exercise together, shall we?
Grab a sheet of paper and write down your list of this year’s resolutions. No fair peeking ahead to find out what comes next! In fact, I’m going to do the jump thingy to enforce compliance. Fill out your sheet then click to continue reading.
Don’t lie to me. We all know you didn’t write anything down. Whatever, the post must go on.
Now, identify all resolutions that involve the acquisition of material things, possessions or money. Put a line through these.
Next, identify all resolutions that involve something to do with yourself. (Gaining weight, drinking more alcohol, etc.) Put a line through these as well.
So, how did you do? What’s left? Anything? Anything at all? This residue of your list is what I like to call “Shit that Matters” or, perhaps, “Things that involve other people.”
Anything left on your list? Be honest! And if so, pound the comment function and let us know. Like there is any chance we’ll actually believe you.
I think one thing to keep in mind is that resolutions need to be realistic and attainable. “I’m going to die 42 times,” although bold and daring, simply isn’t very realistic. It’s better to reword this. For example, “I’ll die at least once.” Now that’s something you can actually do!
One of my resolutions involves posting on this humble blog every single day for one more year. Another is to start a second blog and post there at least once a week. I’d also like to participate in team blogging at some point, if possible.
Last year I gave up sugar, soda, and coffee. The holy trinity of what I like to call “What the fuck am I going to drink now? Water?!?” That translates well to a resolution to drink more water. I’ve got my Klean Kanteen and I’m ready to go! Besides, the only water provided at work comes from the toilet and even I won’t drink that.
I was also a lacto-ovo vegetarian for about half of 2010. I’ve gone back on that wagon for 2011. Three days of success so far and counting!
For me, taking the concept of “other than self” to a whole new level, I’d like to try an external resolution. Number one on that list is something I like to call “listening.” This may be alien to most Americans reading this blog, so I’ll take a brief moment to explain. This is the act of paying attention to another human being. Strange concept, I know.
I’ve found that even when I’m listening I’m still not listening. I’ve mastered the art of pretending to listen. Here’s a couple of examples: My wife will tell me if she needs a ride home after work or not. I’ll grunt to acknowledge she made some sort of noise. Later, as I’m about to get off work, I find myself wondering if she needs a ride, so I’ll give her a call.
Another even more dramatic example is when she’s going to be gone in the evening and tells me where in the house I might find food. I’m really screwed over on those nights.
So yeah, listening is important. Besides, I hear that it might even make other people feel good so why the hell not try it more often?
My other resolutions are fairly simple. Try to be more honest, more ethical, more moral, give up World of Warcraft so I can have free time in my life again (the account was canceled in December) and generally try to be a good person. I’d also like to actually begin working on my book. My goal, to be acheivable, is to complete at least one sentence by the end of the year.
Good luck with your resolutions, if you made any. Maybe next year we can meet back here and see how we did. 🙂