Everybody loves New Year Resolutions
Why make a New Year Resolution?
It’s that time of the year when gyms and health clubs gear up for a spurt in membership, as do those in the diet foods and weight reduction business whose businesses, likewise, witness a surge. They’re well aware that the enthusiasm lasts for the month of January and part of February— perhaps more reason for them to ramp up their sales pitch before the new year begins. Should one conclude from this pattern that it serves little purpose for people to make New Year resolutions? Not so, in my opinion. If you believe, like me, that making a resolution helps one to remain optimistic about the future, then there is all the more reason to make one. For those who wonder how this trend started, my view is that it reflects the optimistic creature that man is. So the message is: be positive and optimistic and forget about what happened last year. Even if the past year turned out to be “annus horribilis” (Queen Elizabeth of England’s words, no less!). Make a plan and stay focused on it, bearing in mind that it is time-bound, since you need to complete it before the year is out. Just one more way, the intelligent human mind has created a motivation for people to plan positively for the year ahead. Minus such motivation, many of us could just end up aimlessly watching the days go by.
Is it getting too commercialized?
One may well wonder whether the whole business of New Year resolutions is some sort of a gimmick created by marketers to promote their products or services. I mentioned earlier about the gyms and other weight-loss businesses. They probably choose the timing to catch some people when they are most vulnerable—as year-end approaches, some might be left with a feeling of regret at missed opportunities in the past year. They might reminiscence on the misfortune that might have befallen them and for some, it might just be a sense of sadness as they see years slip by. So why not take such folks down a guilt trip and get them to sign up for something—and make money in the process. Many of us have gone through such experiences at some time in the past. More reason for one to make resolutions only on issues that one is passionate about.
My personal resolutions
Personally, I’ve made several New Year Resolutions; and have been able to follow through on some of the less ambitious ones—like taking a Caribbean cruise, or going on an African Safari. But alas, there has also been a major failure. Some twelve years ago, I resolved to become a business owner (with hopes of making lots of money!). So my wife and I bought out a small business. Like all businesses we struggled initially; but the struggle continued for a long time and the story does not, unfortunately, have a happy ending. As the Great Recession of 2008 hit us, we sold the business at a considerable loss.
But, as I said earlier, the less ambitious resolutions did work for me, so I’m back to making such resolutions. Like, at the beginning of the year, we resolved to save money for a trip to China— and made it! Probably something others might wish to heed!
Go ahead—make your New Year Resolution!
If at all there is some record somewhere as to how many New Year resolutions have actually worked, it’s unlikely that the figures would be impressive. But let that not deter you. As the holiday atmosphere sets in, it’s a befitting moment to plan something for the forthcoming year. So go ahead, make that New Year Resolution and feel good about it—and hopefully, you’d feel even better when you succeed!