Death of the New Year’s resolution

I bet you all think I’ve gone and disappeared again! But I’m still here, and I really mean to not disappear again!

For at least a month!

That’s one of my New Year’s resolutions. And I’m rather impressed with myself for having one of those, seeing as I’ve been Cynical Cynthia (not having believed in resolutions) for the last, I don’t know, hundred years.

And why not?

Because I think New Year’s resolutions are an escape hatch.

Say you get tired of doing something, like yoga and eating rabbit food. So you tell yourself, oh never mind, the NEW YEAR is coming up; I will resolve to get back into yoga and rabbit food then, promise! (Never mind it’s only April.)

I didn’t want to be part of all that procrastination and denial. (Like I don’t already have enough of that in my life, haha.) Really, I thought, it’s do or do not. There is no faffing about waiting for the right time.


Do or do not?
Your subconscious knows best.


But some time last month, while not doing yoga, I had an epiphany. (Which goes to show you don’t need to be a yogi nor feed on cotton balls to have epiphanies.)

My epiphany was that not believing in NYRs was doing duck all for my goals.

People have a tendency to set their goals aside and, I don’t know, play a video game, instead.

It’s so easy to get sidetracked, lose focus, fall by the wayside, eat a whole pint of chocolate ice cream in one sitting.


Eating chocolate ice cream
Hey, let’s get some cookie dough ice cream next.


(If you’re one of those wack jobs who have earned a PhD, scaled Mount Everest twice, mastered five languages, invented a working time machine and published a hundred books by the time you’re 20 years old, go away. Just go away.)

I see now that NYRs, at least, remind us to refocus and get those bucket lists ticked off. It doesn’t matter if you keep getting sidetracked and have to keep renewing the same resolution every year. At least there’s a chance of succeeding one day.

(ADHD type people like me probably need a whole new strategy altogether, but I’m going to leave that problem for another time.)

By boycotting NYRs, I was basically allowing myself to be sidetracked for longer periods of time. I would enjoy the constant companionship of ennui while thinking, “I don’t need a new year to start doing that thing, I can just do it whenever, duh!”

But “whenever” comes rather infrequently, you’ll find.


Whenever - AKA why you never get anything done.
Whenever never comes.


Now, instead of thinking of NYRs as some dork invention, I’ve decided to think of them as a kind of parental discipline.

When you get to a certain age, you realise that parents are always right (the non-psycho ones, anyway). When they say DO YOUR HOMEWORK NOW, it is backed by all the wisdom of 14 billion years worth of universe. Meaning, disobey me and you will become a tramp, see if I care. (Actually, I do care, so go do your homework.)

Come 2016, I was determined to obey my figurative parents. My first resolution on the list was to be an early riser.

I’ve struggled my entire life to wake up early but have never quite succeeded. I have tried, honestly, about 3,482 times, despite being genetically predisposed to be an owl.

About 4 am to 12 pm would be my ideal sleeping time. But I want to be more in sync with the rest of the world (that is, pertaining to my familial and social circles).


Sync in progress. Do not disconnect.
Another way of saying behave like a normal human being, you crazy person.


So, on the first Monday of 2016, I made myself wake up at 7 am. I spent the whole day in a zombiefied state doing useful tasks I’d put off for years, such as opening mail that’s been sitting around since 2013 and filing them away neatly. It was a very successful day.

But my triumph wasn’t to last long. At 9 pm, my throat suddenly became quite sore.

At 10 pm, I started sneezing uncontrollably.

The next morning, I woke up with a bad cold and promptly went back to sleep. And that was the end of that resolution, may it rest in peace.

Well, there’s always next year.



This year, I’m making a wish

I always get melancholically introspective on New Year’s Eve. This year is no different.

Some years I’m out partying my head off, getting drunk during the big countdown. Other years I’m at home sullenly watching some new year countdown show or other, sullen not because I’m home on New Year’s Eve but because I hate countdown shows.

I am always forced to watch the blasted shows because someone or other at home will feel that it’s every human being’s sworn duty to watch the countdown show for no better reason than “What? It’s the COUNTDOWN show!” and therefore will have the TV tuned to the right channel even before the show starts.

I don’t like those shows because they are always the same every year. Crowds, fireworks, inane chatter, too much screaming, and nothing is remotely entertaining in the artistic sense and I can’t see my life or brain being bettered by them.



Ok I don’t want to spoil the mood by ranting about TV shows so I shall go back to talking about this melancholic introspectovirus I catch every year end. And I’ll tell you what I’m introspecting today.

Like I’ve mentioned again and again, I am of the belief that New Year’s Day is just another day similar to any other day in that the sun rises and then sets, but attached profound significance because of a sequence of numbers and the genius of capitalists.

In other words, it’s overhyped.

Therefore, I feel resentful of society’s insistence on having me take stock of my life this time of the year, making new resolutions and all that crap. Because, I DO feel the need to do such a thing every year and it annoys me how illogical and pressurising it is. And it’s also a useless endeavour because hardly anyone I know ever keeps their resolutions, unless they’re clever and make resolutions such as get more massages or eat more chocolate.

So I get all melancholic because I’m taking stock while being annoyed at myself for doing it and getting stressed, and resenting the deadline. Then the new year comes and I’m, like, NOOOOOO I’m not ready! I haven’t finished doing last year’s laundry!



The new year comes, anyway, regardless of my feelings about the matter and we continue to bumble on as we’ve always done before the big countdown, and it doesn’t matter whether you’d spent it drunk at a pub or sullen at home watching the countdown show, because nothing changes.

Nevertheless, I do have a list of new year’s resolutions in my head which I made a lifetime ago and have struggled to follow through the year and will continue to struggle to follow till the end of my time.

Because, while I don’t believe in the possibility of change at the turn of a clock, I believe in evolution. Not in the Big Bang sense, but in the sense that things do change, slowly and gradually, much like how your chilli plant dies a slow, silent death if you forget to feed it some water. (I’m sorry, Mr Chilli.)



So, my resolutions list can be summarised as follows: Strive to be a good person and live life as meaningfully and fully as possible.

It’s very difficult to be a good person. Someone who’s kind, empathetic, non-judgemental, believes in the good of the world and delights in bringing happiness to others.

Other people make it difficult for me to be nice. Countdown shows make it difficult. The weather makes it difficult. Bills make it difficult. There’s always something in the way. But I always try and try because that’s my perennial wish for the world. That everyone tries, too.