Friday, January 2, 2009

new year, new start? blah!

I confess...that the New Year's Resolution is on my list of pet peeves.

I appreciate the chance to reflect on another year gone by, not to mention the chance for a fun night out, but I feel like New Year's is really overblown. I don't see why it should be a milestone for announcing some big new change in one's life. Why this date above all others? The way I see it, true change is inspired by more than a clean page on the calendar. Real resolutions come when they (and we) are truly ready for them....not when some arbitrary date tells us we should be. And most change, especially truly successful change, is a gradual process...not something you can announce one day and enact the next. It seems to me like resolutions based on the calendar are a lot more likely to fail, and to result in a bit of a backlash, than those that just come on their own. We resolve, we fail, we feel worse than when we started.

Not to mention the industries built upon the resolution. The normally long wait at my old gym in ATL would more than double in January and February to the point where I'd wait 40 minutes to be allowed to use a machine for only 20. And the barrage of diet ads, stop smoking ads, etc. seem almost designed to make us all feel pretty rotten. It's January...the weather is doing a good enough job of that (especially here in New England)!

I'm all for self-improvement. I'd love it if more people got fit, quite smoking, spent wisely, and on and on. But I think it needs to come from the individual, not the calendar.

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