COLUMN: Realistic resolutions

Every year, usually around Jan. 5, I end up disappointing myself by breaking one or more of my New Year’s resolutions.  Whether it’s eating an entire Hot-N-Ready pizza when I’ve set out to lose 10 pounds, or cowering under my covers with a flashlight on the night I was finally supposed to ask out that girl from class, I can’t keep promises to myself.

Thankfully, I’m not alone. The concept of a New Year’s resolution is admirable, but the act of changing a deep-seeded habit or part of one’s personality is much too hard for many people to accomplish.

Instead of pining over failed resolutions of the past, we should accept the fact we need resolutions that are easier to accomplish. Why start the year obsessing over failures when you could be celebrating a multitude of small accomplishments?

I came up with a list of three resolutions that I think I can easily accomplish, and I hope sharing them will provide some inspiration for your own lists.

For my first resolution, I’m going to start liking absolutely every item that pops up on my Facebook news feed. Clicking “like” a bunch of times will only take a few minutes each day, and it will help you reconnect with those friends you made in high school who now only share cat memes.

You might think that this strategy has drawbacks. For instance, what if John Smith’s grandma dies, and he posts the following status: “My grandma is dead.”  In this case, clicking “like” will help you improve at effusively apologizing.  It will also improve your skills as a liar, since you’ll have to tactfully avoid all those meme-sharers from high school who will now think you’re their best friend.

I’d also like to catch a cold by Jan. 17.  This should be an easy goal to accomplish, since Central Michigan University will once again be teeming with viruses this time of the year.  Colds are usually looked at as annoyances, but I look at them as opportunities to kill millions of pathogens that could have infected others. It’s sort of noble when you think about it.

Finally, and this goal is a bit loftier, I’d like to stop obsessively planning my future.  Throughout high school and my undergrad studies, I never really thought about my future, and I seemed pretty happy back then, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get back into that mindset.

Not planning for the future is the ultimate New Year’s resolution. It eliminates the need for all future resolutions, and you might even start enjoying today a little more, if you’re not obsessing about tomorrow.

So, go ahead, make a list, or resolve to not make a list.  Most importantly, have a great New Year, and don’t worry so much.


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