Are New Year’s Resolutions a Gimmick?
I’ve never been good at New Year’s Resolutions. They’re a gimmick, like 5-hour Energy or Bloody Marys, meant to get you out of bed with a hangover from the party of the year. A almost feels like an obligation after all the holiday festivities. Oh yes, we declare to the world. Contrary to my behavior of the past two weeks, in fact I’m an uber-hydrated hard-body on her way to climbing Everest. Or at least committed to shedding those extra pounds I gained eating all those yummy chocolates everyone kept forcing me to eat at gunpoint.
I’m diabetic people. Waving a delicious dark chocolate covered caramel in front of me is just cruel.
So here we are, the first Tuesday after the New Year, the first day back to work for many, and it’s time to get on the Resolution bandwagon. I’ve already seen numerous skiers skinning up in the morning and evenings to burn calories and kick-start that exercise resolution. I imagine that in the city, reflector-wearing runners are lining the sidewalks, determined to stick to their new goal.
Finding a Different Kind of Resolution
I’m looking for a new kind of resolution. I don’t need to resolve to get more exercise–my job already does that for me. The chocolates are gone now, and my blood sugars have evened out, so I’m safe from the pushers at least until Valentine’s Day.
What I need is a new perspective.
I’m not sure if it’s entirely kosher to just copy someone else’s resolution, but I found one over at www.semi-rad.com and it seemed to fit. Brendan Leonard calls it The Year of Maximum Enthusiasm, and it’s pretty rad (not just semi-rad).
In a nutshell, Brendan wants us to notice the awesomeness already in our lives. He quotes Kurt Vonnegut who said, “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’”
The Story We Tell
This is brilliant. The story we tell about our experience actually shapes the experience. We are natural meaning-makers always wanting to explain the minutiae of our life (which, if I really think about it, is probably the single biggest drive for continuing this blog).
The more we remind ourselves that this moment right here, right now is awesome, the better it actually becomes. I’m healthy, my husband is alive, the trees and slopes are covered in snow. Life is good.
This IS the Good Stuff
So, next time I find myself skiing powder or flying in the floatplane or listening to a kid tell me a story of any kind, I will take note. I will pay attention. Then, and this is the important part, I will declare it. I’ll go right ahead and say, “this is really cool.” I’ll do a fist-pump, high-five someone, and speak in ALL CAPS. I won’t be stoic. I won’t smile into my collar. Instead, I’ll have MAXIMUM ENTHUSIASM. Because this is as good as it gets.
Bravo all you resolution-starters. High-five Brendan Leonard for the brilliant idea for MAXIMUM ENTHUSIASM. Way to go anyone you refuses to join the nay-sayers and haters. It’s easy to let your life suck. It’s much harder to take responsibility for your own happiness. Even if that means you have to add exclamation points and smiley faces to all your correspondences.
Hey, whatever it takes.