The New Black – New Year’s resolutions

Brandi DeLancey

Brandi DeLancey

So it’s the first week of January. I’m sure most of you have made a few New Year’s resolutions. In fact, I’m sure some of you have already broken those resolutions. It is January 3rd, after all.
So why, if we are so insistent on making these resolutions, do we so easily abandon them? Aside from the fact that some of these were made in a drunken haze five minutes after the ball dropped while hugging the nearest warm body at the local pub.

First of all, let’s take a look at the classic New Year’s resolutions made year after year:

1. Lose weight.
2. Exercise more.
3. Get out of debt.
4. Quit smoking/drinking.
5. Try new things.

Secondly, let’s take a look at just a few of the many reasons we are so quick to give up on these ideals:

Lost weight:
We as humans, for some reason, tend to resist change. Why, for Pete’s sake, would I go on a diet or start exercising now if I have been binging and sitting on my ass for the last 20 years? It just doesn’t make any sense.

Exercise more:
Speaking in generalizations, Americans, as a whole, are lazy! You can tell this just by watching those late night infomercials with all of the “ingenious” inventions created just to keep us as lazy as we want to be. Again, why would I get up an hour before I normally need to in order to go to the gym?! Who are we kidding! I don’t want to sweat like a stuck pig before 6 a.m., especially when my bed is just so damn comfy.

Get out of debt:
As George Carlin once said, “We like stuff!” For some reason, we like to define ourselves by our things. In order to get out of the debt, we have to stop trying to keep up with the Joneses, stop buying new stuff and actually PAY for the stuff we already have! But we somehow feel jipped if we don’t get something each time we put up some of our hard earned cash. (Hello, you get to keep your house for one more month when you pay your mortgage! That’s pretty good stuff if you ask me.)

Quit smoking/drinking:
Of course, we all have good intentions out of the gate, but when the going gets tough, the weak crawl back to their vices. If our wealth was measured in the number of excuses we come up with not to do something, there would be no national debt! Maybe then we could actually stick to that get-out-of-debt resolution.

Try new things:
You’d think this one would be easy to uphold. New things can be fun, right? But trying new things seems to evade us for most of the same reasons the other resolutions don’t work out.

In order to try something new, we have to change up our norm, and quite frankly we’re just too damn lazy. (After all, this Law and Order marathon isn’t going to watch itself.) We come up with 101 excuses as to why we can’t do it. If you actually stopped to think about it, it most likely took more effort to make the excuses than it would have to just take that damn trip to Hawaii instead of your normal Florida family vacation! I mean, shit, that hardly seems like a decision to me. Where’s my grass skirt and coconut bra? (Granted, to make that trip actually happen, you need to not be so in debt that you can’t afford the trip and you need to be exercising and losing weight so you can fit into said grass skirt and coconut bra.)

My question to you is, why set yourself up for disappointment? Why not try NOT making New Year’s resolutions year in and year out and just live like you want. Chances are you’re only going to end up doing that in the end anyway. So at least be honest with yourself.

Or if you are going to set resolutions, how about setting them for the RIGHT reasons this time? Maybe if you resolve to eat better because you have bad cholesterol and you’d like to live to see your kids graduate college, you’d be more inclined to stick to it. It’s more realistic than dieting in order to fit into those size five skinny jeans that your best friend wears. Have you ever even stopped to think that maybe no matter how much you starve yourself you will never have the same body type as your super modelesque friend? And that really, that’s okay.

We always want the quick fix, and when we realize we can’t achieve our goals in a week or a month even, we start to stray. And once we stray from our well-made resolutions, the excuses start flowing.

So let’s resolve not to resolve this year, and see how that works out for us. It can’t end up any worse than it normally does. But who knows, maybe you’ll lose those 30 pounds and hit the jackpot without even trying. Just don’t hold me accountable when it doesn’t happen for ya.

Happy New Year!

Brandi DeLancey lives in North Carolina, where she is taking over the Internets one website at a time.

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