Then there’s the ubiquitous New Year’s Resolution. Every conversation that takes place between supper time on 25th December until around the 31st January seems to start with “Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?”. This will be followed by an interrogation into your private thoughts on subjects relating to body image, will power, world peace and the pursuit of happiness.
Inevitably this will then lead to “Did you make any resolutions last year?”. If you admit that you did this will be followed by an equally intrusive interrogation as to how successful you were in keeping them. If you say that you didn’t keep them or make them then there is an equally annoying interrogation into why you didn’t.
Let’s face it, resolutions are a quadruple edged sword (if there is such a thing). There are four possible states with them. (1) You made one and you succeeded in keeping it. You are a success. (2) You made one and failed to keep it. You are a failure. (3) You didn’t make one because your life is perfect. You lack self-awareness. (4) You didn’t make one because you didn’t think you would keep it. You are weak willed.
Only one of those four conditions makes you look in anyway good, so if you meet condition (1) all your friends hate you for being so smug. It’s a lose: lose: lose: lose situation.
We could all agree, collectively, to drop the whole subject, but unfortunately journalists who specialise in making us feel guilty will no doubt write their usual screeds of rubbish about making resolutions and make us feel guilty for not at least trying. Journalists are good at that. No doubt the articles will be strategically positioned alongside the advertisements for the latest wonder diets and nicotine replacement therapies. Interestingly there are never any follow up articles in June or July asking how the resolutions are going. See; Even the journalists can’t keep a resolution.
So what is the answer? My own is to say I’ve made a resolution but to make it as outlandish as possible. It stops the conversation dead in its tracks and usually results in a quick change of subject. I think my best was “I resolve not to be a serial killer.” I succeeded, by the way. Aren’t I smug?
If asked about the previous year’s resolution the same trick applies. Was I successful in not becoming a serial killer?. Yes. End of. Or I could answer “no” and watch the face of my interrogator to see what their reaction might be. That would be fun. It will certainly stop them from asking that moronic question again.
By the way, if you have made any New Year’s resolutions of your own you are not entitled to feel smug about keeping them until at least July. By then you will seem like some kind of oddball if you raise the subject of New Year's resolutions in July, so I’ll be spared that at least.
A Happy New Year to all my readers and I hope 2016 brings you your heart's desire, whatever that may be.
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