So it’s almost New Year’s Day, and this is a blog about the journey of self-improvement...I guess I should just do the resolution entry and get it over with.
If you can’t tell, New Year’s resolutions aren’t really my thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love clear delineations: start points, dead lines, designated boxes, clearly marked folders, closed closet doors...they’re great! We should have cut-off points in our calendar where we call it quits for this year and move along to the next. It keeps things so nicely organized. I know exactly how to file my paperwork thanks to the time system. I take satisfaction in knowing that, if nothing else, my calendars are up to date.
I even don’t feel it’s silly to load certain emotional markers on particular days of the year. If we tried to live one emotional set of parameters all year long we’d...well, we’d fail miserably. Any old day I can be grouchy, make rude jokes about the government, and be morose. However, once a year it’s good to be reminded to tell everybody we love them, to be proud that we’re Americans, to laugh at death and wear ridiculous clothing, and yes, once a year to take a serious inventory of what we could improve about ourselves.
No, the concept of New Year’s resolutions really isn’t offensive to me. It’s just...I’m a naturally independent and stubborn person. Naturally independent and stubborn people generally don’t like the implication that we need to change. We prefer to offer advice rather than take it gracefully. Seeing a lot of news articles about how I should manage my money, manage my weight, manage my time, manage my stress, and manage whatever it is they assume I’m handling poorly as of 2010, makes me want to dig in my heels and say something like, “Manage yourself, buddy,” and metaphorically shake my fist.
I truly believe that, when it comes to change, the only impetus that one can actually rely on is oneself. The best advice in the world doesn’t mean anything until you are ready to listen. And listening to advice is useless until you actually act. I know how to manage my money, weight, time, and all that other stuff. Knowing how to do it isn’t the problem. The doing is crux of the matter. So, it is difficult to jump into the resolution spirit when I’m convinced that it’s me or nothing.
I concede, however, that being naturally independent and stubborn doesn’t mean I couldn’t use a little help. So, this year, perhaps I should to try and be open-minded to the advice givers of the world. Yes, in the end it does come down to me and my decision to act, but a little outside motivation, a few helpful hints, an article or two about keeping resolutions can’t hurt me. No reason to be stubborn for stubborn’s sake. No reason to take common sense advice as a personal attack on my skills at running my life.
This year, I resolve to be a little less resolute on my prior stand on resolutions.