New Year irresolution

2014I never make New Year resolutions. But I know that some people resolve to “improve” themselves at this time of year. With nothing to motivate you other than an arbitrary change of date, it isn’t surprising that these resolutions so often fail. This year I urge you to do something different.

It doesn’t matter what. Just anything, different. Learn to bake bread. Turn left at the traffic lights instead of right. Take the scenic route. Give a coin to the homeless guy you usually ignore. Buy a rose bush and learn how to care for it.

I’m not suggesting you do anything difficult, like learn a language, or anything self-improving, like taking up jogging. And most of all I’m not asking for any long-term commitment to change. Just choose something you can do once, or for a short while, or until you get bored or decide you don’t like it. Just something different.

That’s the beauty of the idea – it can’t fail, as it doesn’t require any commitment beyond the willingness to experiment. Success is guaranteed.

At the very least, you can say you tried. You might discover something you like. It might make you feel young again. And you may, if you’re lucky, enhance your life in some totally unexpected, miraculous way.

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27 responses to “New Year irresolution

  1. I really like this. Much better to make little efforts, regardless of the date :)

  2. That’s a good start! :)

  3. This is great! Love you outlook on new year’s resolutions. Totally agree. Thanks for the advice.

  4. I like your positivity, but is it okay if i just throw in a resounding “Fuck New Years Eve” here? I’m sorry, this was not my favorite New Year’s.
    2014 had better be good.

  5. I always make resolutions and if they fail, I just start again and again. As you said in a previous post- failure is a great teacher. I don’t go jogging for example as I realised that I hate it, but I have managed to do some regular yoga.- much better.

  6. Thank you for your feedback! This last post I dedicate to you and your blog. I hope you enjoy it! :)
    http://tresbienq.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/at-the-end-of-all-things-that-last-human-thought/

  7. I’m jumping in my car on Jan. 3rd to live near my daughters with $1300 in my pocket and bills to pay! Pray or meditate positive energy my way, because I need a job : )

  8. The easy-peasy can’t-fail resolution I wish every American would make is simply to register to vote, and then vote. Bonus resolution: find someone who isn’t and help him get registered, and then help her vote. People would trust government more if they had a hand in shaping it. (P.S. I like yours, too. If you learn to bake bread, I’ll learn to make cheese. Deal?)

  9. Great post. I don’t like make resolutions either. But I am trying something new… this whole thing called blogging. It’s going okay so far. Looking for great things in 2014! Cheers!
    believeallthingspossible.wordpress.com

  10. Last year, my resolution was that I would turn away from any upsets and look at myself – perhaps there is something in myself that is at cause for this upset that I feel. Now, actually, in a few cases I did forget my resolution and I reacted first. In most cases, I did follow through. In a few cases, after following my resolution, I did continue for some time to experience the upset and on two occasions I experimented with believing myself just. It was a very excellent year to learn about the responsibility of self-examination and reflection.

  11. I support your advice as well.

  12. Well, I learned a lot about myself and others too actually. It seems that many and perhaps most people have expectations that are more or less unconsciously established regarding the behaviors and demeanor and duties and so on about other people – at home, work, the grocery, on the road, and so on. So, first off, I learned to interrupt the unconscious reactions and to examine myself to determine if I have agreement or just assume agreement in areas of responsibilities, behaviors and such. If I haven’t discussed and made agreed expectations – mutually with someone – then pretending that we have the same objectives is a delusion and its defiance then that I am practicing when I act authoritative – this occurred many time with my 13 year old before I began to get practiced well enough and get him into making “real” agreed upon objectives that are shared. I had to begin very gently but keep at it. He was accustomed to not knowing my thinking and feeling ruled. He had become somewhat devious and secretive. His behavior was as it seems now, appropriate even though ineffective.
    I have a draft actually in my post folder. Its difficult to write and its probably be revised 20 times so far although it isn’t far along. Eventually, I hope to get it out as something that will make sense and that it isn’t too long. Your question helps spark some renewed motivation in me.
    Did you ever try something similar to the technique? For me it works this way: I feel upset or disturbed or confused – that is me so I stop and determine what is bothering me. I look to my philosophy of accepting what is – I wonder if there is anything on my part that I am doing to assume/speculate/expect what isn’t agreed with the other party. I adjust myself if need be. I approach the other party as either that I believe we had a previous agreed or that we may need one or I leave it alone if in fact it is just not necessary to work on. I realize that I am just not put here to fix everything and everybody. I am a helper, not a fixer. So, in most cases, I may do nothing or in a few cases maybe I’ll say something like “We may not be seeing/understanding/meaning this the same way.” and wait to see if the other person cares to explore it and be open – sometimes they are at first closed minded or in a fight/flight state or just not interested or oblivious. If it isn’t important enough that it must occur differently next time its off the table unless I can work toward agreement.
    For example: 1) my son likes to get up and dilly-dally too much time before school. This is improved now over some time and with several discussions. 2) my neighbor used to cut the lawn every Saturday morning before 8 am. I peacefully discussed it and he agreed to wait until 9 am – glaring by the other neighbors hadn’t worked – so I actually did it as much for them as for myself… more so really. 3) I am peaceful in busy stores even with line cutters and in traffic with frantic drivers cutting lanes and so on (I had been cursing them in my head).
    .

    • Well this would make a great topic for a post! It is very hard for us to truly empathise with others. We construct mental models of people, but they are very crude and often don’t allow us to understand what the other person is thinking/feeling.

      I am reading the Ender’s World saga at the moment, which is all about this (understanding and relating to aliens) and came across this:

      “She had a flash of insight, just for a moment. Her action meant one thing to him and something quite different to her.It was so different that it was not even the same event.”

  13. Yes, it is a challenge. However, its actually easier than making a personal change that is not focused on others but only on self. For instance, for me this was easier than making a resolution to go and workout or change my diet.

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