How to resolve to stop making resolutions
December 28, 2004
by Ashley Noel Hennefer
Special to the R-C
“I want to lose weight.”
“I want to budget my money better.”
“I should give up chocolate…”
And so on.
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Whenever I hear someone mention New Year’s Resolutions, I roll my eyes and mutter disbelief under my breath. I want to shout to people, “These are the same things that you said last year! And they didn’t work!”
Some may call me pessimistic, but think about it; once a year, the average person sets their goals for the future, and twelve months later– Bam! – they’re setting the exact same standards for themselves. Year after year, it’s the same pattern. Year after year, people get their hopes up and their self-satisfaction is dashed because they could not achieve their goals for a better life.
OK, now I’m just being dramatic.
The other day, I came across a magazine article titled, “How to Improve Your Life in the New Year!” The article gave a sample resolution list: “Keep my desk clean…” “Do more chores…” “Be nicer to my brother…” Done, done, and done. My desk is organized (for the most part), I just finished doing a load of laundry, and my brother and I get along great. So I thought, maybe New Year’s Resolutions can succeed, and I gave in to my hypocrisy and created a list.
1) Dye my hair every color of the rainbow.
I was going to start with pink until my mother changed her mind and realized that she did not want a daughter with an unnatural hair color. My hair will be light blonde, instead (and no, this does not count as yellow). There went my first resolution.
2) Attempt to get straight A’s again.
I set this one after I found my outstanding seventh grade report card and started to vow that I would work really, really hard until I realized that math hates me and no matter how hard I try I will never ace that class. Goodbye, resolution number two.
3) Get to bed before 10 o’clock.
As I write this at 11:30 p.m., I come to the conclusion that this probably won’t happen. I can blame it on insane amounts of homework or my addiction to caffeinated tea, but in any case it is a rare occurance for me to go to bed before 11, even on school nights. So much for this goal.
4) Keep my room clean.
I started the day by cleaning out my closet, which is a once-a-year event. It’s spotless now. Under my bed, however, is another story. With a heavy sigh I admit that my room will never be completely clean, much to the despair of my parents and myself. I can work on this goal, though.
5) Get a job.
This one makes me groan. This is one of those I-know-I-have-to-but-I-don’t-WANT-to things. It’s not that I’m lazy; I had a very demanding full-time job over the summer. And I’d love to work at Border’s, but they won’t hire me until I’m 18. So my choices are pretty much fast-food joints and grocery stores. Would you like paper or plastic for your supersized meal?
And the last…
6) Stop making pointless resolutions.
After I wrote my list, I tore it in half. Why should setting goals for oneself be limited to one day a year? There’s no reason why I shouldn’t strive for good grades, more sleep, and a clean room all year long, instead of the initial January where aspirations are as fresh as the new snow. Maybe that’s the problem; we set these standards for ourselves, and then almost immediately we lose the luster to follow through.
So here’s my solution to the resolution blues – forget the list. It’s good to have goals, but make them realistic and meaningful to accomplish. Unless, you know, you really want pink hair.
— Ashley Noel Hennefer is a junior at Douglas High School.