Turn Bad Resolutions Into Better Resolutions

By Bob Sparrow

Some of you have already put your New Year’s resolutions on paper; hopefully they’re in pencil.  Most of us have had some vague ideas rattling around in our heads about how we’d resolve, no, how we’d ‘wish’ this new year would be different from anything we’ve ever experienced in the past.  The fact is, while there is typically a lot of ‘resolutioning’ going on at this time of year, there is very little that is actually resolved.  I’m not trying to be a downer here; I’m just trying to keep you from another year of disappointments – resolution after resolution succumbing to reality sometime in January, or if you’re lucky, February.  I therefore offer you a guide for keeping your resolutions . . . real.

Bad Resolution: I’m going to lose weight  The average American adult gains about 2 pounds per year; the average gain in weight over the holidays is about 5 pounds.  Even if you got one of those oxymoronic diseases where you painfully, but thankfully lost 10 pounds while feeling miserable, you’ll go right back to your poor diet and lack of exercise as soon as you’re healthy enough to sit up and eat a bag of chips.

Better Resolution: Fat people are jolly, resolve to be jollier.

Bad Resolution: I’m going to join a gym  This is part of the above lie you’ve told yourself about being healthier this year.  Gyms prey on people like you in January with deals to get you in the door – they know you’ll never keep it up, you know you’ll never keep it up, but you resolve that this year is going to be different.  It’s not; save the $29 ‘special offer’ and all the money you’ll spend on ‘I’m looking good’ work out gear.

Better Resolution: Walk to the nearest gym, look at all the saps who were duped this year, walk home and enjoy a Cinnabon. 

I’m going to spend more time with the kids:  This assume that the other demands on your time are going to diminish – they’re not.  You love your kids, you want to spend more time with them, but are you going to work less, play less golf, miss your favorite TV show?  No.  Besides, you’re kids are getting older and they want to spend less time with you, but will want to see you when they need money.

Better Resolution: Spend ‘quality’ time with the kids, whatever that is and keep cash handy.

I’m going to be better at work:  A mere turning of the calendar page is not going to make you a better employee or employer.  Yes, you can agree to treat Dottie in accounting a little better, but you know she’s going to piss you off when she asks for all those expense receipts.  And the only way you’re going to become a better salesman this year is if the economy gets better.

Better Resolution: Try to keep your job.

I’m going to be a better person: This is sort of the ‘catch all’ resolution; it’s great because it’s vague enough to keep you unaccountable.  It can encompass everything from being a better spouse (this is fine until you realize that your partner hasn’t made the same resolution) to finding god (if he wanted you to find him, don’t you think he or she could make that happen?).

Better Resolution: Don’t perpetuate any of that Internet drivel that tells you you’ll have 17 years of bad luck if you don’t pass it along in the next 15 minutes to your 50 closest friends.

Hope this helps, you’ll thank me in February.  Happy Same Old Year.  The reality is we like you just the way you are.  OK, we’d like to see a few changes, but that ain’t gonna happen.

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