It’s been three weeks since I flubbed my New Year’s resolution. I’m not proud of this fact, but here we are. Just like last year. I think the main problem with New Years resolutions is that they happen on January 1. There is no worse day in the year to try to turn things around.
What worse day to commit yourself to a strict diet that the day you wake up with impossibly high blood sugar and a stomach stretched to twice its normal size. You ate your weight in baked brie the night before, so you need a burrito, not a bowl of berries. You’ve just spent ten days grazing on breaded delicacies and mysterious shapes dipped in chocolate. You briefly wondered if it’s popcorn or nuts under all that chocolate, as you shoved another handful in your mouth. Somewhere during the last week of December, you succumbed to the Honey Baked Ham, which is pretty much salty pig candy. You’re in no shape for drastic change.
Several people have told me they were going to stop drinking alcohol for the month of January. I can only imagine how that went. First of all, pick a month with fewer days. Secondly, alcohol was invented for January. It gets dark at 4pm and the sun doesn’t rise until after 7. If you like the nightlife, January is for you! Why not quit drinking during a month where you can go out and enjoy wholesome things like walks on the beach and guacamole. You’ve got to ease your way back from the cumulative hangover that stems from getting together for a few holiday drinks thirty days in a row.
The fiscal resolution is one of the trickiest. It starts out okay, because you can get away with spending absolutely no money on January 1. Chances are you have half an open bottle of champagne by your bed and a half a Honey Baked Ham in the fridge. You can stick to this feeling of austerity right up to the 10th when your holiday credit card bill rolls in. That thing packs a punch like no other bill you’ll see all year. In fact, my first instinct is to call the fraud department, hopeful that some lunatic has stolen my credit card and has gone on a bender at Amazon. Every year, that lunatic turns out to be me. The truth is that I only spent $80. Two hundred times. There are millions of tiny little charges that seemed so necessary at the time. An extra trip to the Home Depot for just one more wreath. The Christmas Eve celebration. The Christmas Day celebration. The Boxing Day bonanza. The salty pig candy wasn’t cheap either.
If your resolution was to get your house organized (ahem), why would you pick the messiest, most cluttered day of the year? Remnants of gifts (and often the gifts themselves) need to be thrown out before you can even tackle your normal mess. The toys and shoes that needed to be sorted and culled months ago are now hidden under a dust of pine needles and ribbons.
The good news is that I’ve just given you all the excuses you need to feel good about your New Year’s failure. The bad news is that it’s now February 1st, and it’s go time. January is just the buffer month, a month to get the tree off the curb and maybe cut back on the sodium. January is here to ease us back in; not to help us lose weight but to maybe help us slow the rate of gaining. So today’s the day. Happy (adjusted) New Year. Let’s be grateful it’s a short month.