A Head Start on Failed New Year’s Resolutions

Slouching into 2022

failed New Year's Resolutions

I’m avoiding the January rush, admitting early my abysmal history of failed New Year’s Resolutions. I know I won’t lose 10 pounds. Know I won’t exercise more. Know I won’t eat healthier. And, more importantly, know I won’t be a kinder, more patient person.

After 67 years, why go through the painful effort of trying? Why not just accept the disappointment and shame of failure quickly and be done with it? You know, like ripping off a band-aid in one fast stroke to minimize the pain?

Failed New Year’s Resolutions

Really, after these decades of failed New Year’s Resolutions and the best of intentions, I have only one question: Why can’t I achieve any of these worthy goals?

Generally speaking, I’m not lazy. Generally speaking, I’m not unmotivated. In fact, if I do say so myself, I’m a pretty motivated, can-do person. I graduated from high school one year early and from college at age 20 while holding three jobs. I’ve been productive through my career, and I’m still working at full steam today, meeting multiple deadlines for my newspaper column and weekly blog.

The Best of Intentions

So, why — year after year — do I strike out at meeting personal improvement goals, and more specifically, New Year’s Resolutions? And in the broadest sense, why am I a failure — and why are so many of us failures — at doing what’s good for us?

I — and I suspect, you — are not slackers in general. We get up on time each day, brush our teeth and floss, comb our hair, make our beds, and go to work on time, even if work these days is in the next room. We raised our kids. Pay our taxes. Keep our houses clean. Walk and pick up after the dog. Take out the trash.

Yet, if I do all this, then why don’t I stop drinking Diet Coke? It has no nutritional value. Evidence suggests it’s harmful to you. Yet, each day I guzzle it down, unhealthy can after can.

High Hopes and High Heels

And why did I persist in wearing high heel shoes all my life, when my mother warned me for years that they would wreck my feet — just as they had hers? I didn’t doubt her. I just loved how good I looked in heels and dreamed of a collection to rival that of the late great musician Prince! Now, of course, I’m a prime candidate for bunion surgery.

And what about exercise? We all know its benefits for the body, brain, and long life. I also know how good I feel when I do it. Each day I vow to move my butt, even for a short walk. Yet, each day I remain parked at my desk, diligently working. Why don’t I apply that same diligence to get up and go for even a short walk? Sometimes I do, but not often enough.

I Give Up!

I could cite a multitude of articles detailing the difficulties of forming good — and breaking bad — habits, but I suspect you’ve read them already. And with this, the season of New Year’s Resolutions upon us, there will be dozens of new stories available.

As for me, I won’t be reading the articles this year. I’m done.

Lose 10 pounds? That’s so 2020! Also, 2019, 2018, 2017, and on and on backward all the way to my 16th birthday!

Study more? Learn a new language. Great ideas. But my brain is already fried from pandemic-enforced stay-at-home self-improvement.

Just a Slacker!

So, my only resolution for 2022 is to avoid resolutions as resolutely as I’ve avoided COVID-19! A be-better slacker I am and a be-better slacker I shall remain.

Now, excuse me, please. I’m going to rise briefly from the computer. Not to exercise, of course, but to waddle over to the pantry to grab a cookie — a reward for my extreme honesty about my ne’er-do-well ways.

 🎉 Happy New Year! 🎉 

OK., my dear middle-aged muddlers, your turn. Are you ready to fess up? I’d love to hear from you! Do you have trouble keeping New Year’s Resolutions? If so, why do you think so?

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