Put the “Solution” in “Resolution”
I probably haven’t made a New Year’s resolution since I was thirteen. I think it was something like “Get along with my sisters.” It couldn’t have lasted any more than nine hours, and only that long because we were sleeping. I’m sure someone ate the rest of the cereal for breakfast.
My landlords’ son made the resolution to start dating this year. He had the job and the nice apartment—now he just needed a girlfriend. On his bus ride home, he met a girl. Two days later, he’s kept his resolution. They’re still dating more than two weeks later. I’m still baffled by it. It’s not even a resolution anyone would be able to accomplish by themselves, like going to the gym or watching less Netflix. He had to rely on the female population, not just his own hard work and determination. It isn’t wholly up to him whether or not he gets a girlfriend, yet by some miracle, here he is, all sorts of successful about it.
I am a firm believer that New Year’s resolutions, as all decisions, can be followed through and accomplished. But it’s a matter of discipline. It’s a matter of the will. Getting a girlfriend isn’t really a matter of the will. On the other hand, being more approachable or spending time on your appearance is completely within your control. As is time management or healthy living. But there’s a limit to how much responsibility you can lay on yourself and expect it all to go well. You can do all you can to live a long, happy life, but when the Road Runner drops an anvil on your head, that’s not on you! No one but Wile E. Coyote could survive that.
I stopped making resolutions because I’m not good at keeping them. If I wait all year to make a decision for the better, I’m just waiting all year to watch myself fail. And why wait 347 days for something I could gracefully pull off right now? Instead, I have learned to cater to myself by choosing smaller goals: Don’t fail this semester; don’t watch Netflix today; drink more water this week.