Your New Year’s Resolutions are Crap, and What to do Instead

Well, it’s 2014, and it’s time for those pesky New Year’s Day resolutions. They come in all shapes and sizes, often revolving around one’s weight, or possessions they wish to acquire, or jobs they wish to find. Many are pointless, useless, and most are unrealistic. Why at the beginning of the year do we make all these resolutions, and hardly achieve any of them? Well, one reason is simple: most resolutions are crap and have no hope of being accomplished.

That’s tackle the topic of weight. How many of you want to lose weight this year? Many I suspect. How much: 10, 20, 50 pounds? Ok, but what are you going to DO to lose it? Do you have a set plan for exercise, or in changing what you eat? Or do you just make the resolution to feel better in the moment that you WILL do something, when in fact, you won’t?

How about those who want a new job, or want to make more money this year? Those sound like good resolutions. More money is good, right? So, do you plan to look for a new job then? Look to gain a promotion at your current job? Take a side job to earn more money? Start a small business in hopes to make something lasting? I doubt these questions have been thought of. Most of it is lip service, designed to make you think this year will be better, when good chance, it won’t.

Pessimistic, huh? It is. Resolutions fail, period.

Instead, that’s work on making long-term goals for our lives, and then working to achieve them. How about we take stock in these goals, and the actions we are taking, and then determine what works, and what doesn’t. How about we work to be better people, and do the things we need to do to help ourselves and others.

I, myself, do not have any resolutions for this year. Instead, I have long term goals I wish to accomplish. I am working on detailed plans to achieve them. The truth is, I will not accomplish all, or possibly, most of what I want. Why? Life gets in the way. However, I will become a better person this year, and grow, and will, in the end, accomplish more than if I just made a resolution.

What goals do you want for this year? What do you want out of 2014? Below is a list of what I want, and think it is a good list for most to adopt.

1. Stop Being so Selfish

We are all selfish to a degree. Sometimes it is healthy to be selfish, as we have needs we need to be met. However, many are self-absorbed to a degree they rarely think of others unless it benefits them. Case in point: Oxford Dictionary’s 2013 word of the year was “selfie.” What a dumb word. It refers to taking a photo of yourself, to feel important and the center of attention. Let’s be blunt, you are not as important as you think, and most do not care to see pictures of you all the time. How about in 2014 we look at others in our lives and do what we can to help them?

I am guilty of this. I am an Introvert, and often like to isolate from others. This year, I want to be there more for my friends and family, and not be as inwardly focused.

2. Stop Being so Pessimistic

I confess I am often pessimistic. I look at the negatives before the positives. I know why it is a defense mechanism. If I look for the worst, and it happens, I do not feel so bad. I am not let down. However, it is a crappy way to live. It is negative and depressing. Case in point: I recently had car problems, and assumed the worst. My check engine and transmission light went on, and my car was running poorly. When I was told my Transmission was sending six different error codes, I assumed I needed a new transmission, and assumed it would cost $4,000. In my head, I budgeted the money and was convinced at the cost. While I did this to reduce anxiety, I was not in a positive mood and was highly negative and annoying. In the end, I only paid $850 total, a far cry from $4,000. The experience taught me to be more positive, and it is a good lesson for all.

3. Get Off your A** and get Busy on what Matters

Most people are lazy. I am lazy. I admit it. Ok, that is a lie, often I deny it and try to convince myself I “deserve time to do nothing.” Which do I plenty of? My problem is I spend time doing the WRONG things instead of things to better my life and help others. We all need downtime, but most of us use that as an excuse to do nothing beyond the bare minimum. How about this year we do what we need to do, and stop making excuses and assigning blame. I have many things I want to do, and while some of them I do well, I did not do enough and did not complete many of the goals I made the following year. While I don’t expect to accomplish everything, I need to do better and not be so lazy.

4. Stop Blaming Others for Your Life

It’s time for many of us to shut up. Just shut up and stop blaming others, society, political parties, racism, and just live your life. There are always going to be obstacles in your path. Some people have more obstacles than others. LIFE IS NOT FAIR! So shut up and stop complaining, and start doing something about it. People do not want to sit and hear you complain about everything. People want to hear you take actions to make things better. Answer me this, how has complaining helped you? Did it solve the problem? If so, your problem was very small.

How about we start working together and finding solutions, instead of focusing on creating divisions. Blaming others will do nothing to help you. For me, I need to stop judging much of what I see and work to better see other’s viewpoints. People will still at times be wrong, but at least I am working to understand them better, and maybe be in a better position to help.

In conclusion, I think we would be better to follow the list above then to make pointless resolutions. Here is the truth: you are going to die, and you do not know when. Period. It could be tomorrow, or next week, or in 50 years. It will happen, and when it does, what will you leave behind? Will people care, or will you fade into nothing but a collection of useless “selfies.” Ok, I could not resist that. Maybe instead of resolutions, we use the beginning of the year to take stock in ourselves, and where we are going. I think I like that approach better.

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Nathan Driskell

Hello, my name is Nathan Driskell and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor – Supervisor in the Houston / Cypress area specializing in the treatment of Internet Addiction & Asperger’s / Autism. I work with children, adolescents, adults, couples & families.

You can reach me at my website or call me directly at 832-559-3520 if you have any questions. Thank You!
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