New Year's Resolutions

General Posted by elancaster65 4 years, 9 months ago

Who makes them? Who keeps them?

The Art of Manliness has a couple articles about them:

But like most, I made resolutions in the past only to forget about them shortly thereafter. So, like when I asked Alexa what her NYR was, I have a resolution to not make resolutions.

Instead, I have little goals throughout the year. Nothing set in stone or listed on a Post-It on my desk (although I do have more of those now as I get older!). More like taking up an issue when I see it arise.

So Gentlemen of the Mint, what's your NYR? If you have one....or not.


And Happy New Year to you and yours. May 2019 be better than 2018.


9 replies

  • glen

    I have two thoughts on this:

    1. I think NYR are set up to fail because they're usually really audacious goals that don't have a plan on how to achieve them. (ie. lose weight). These NYR resolutions are often very hard, and most people look to quick fixes as opposed to changing the underlying issue or habit. Which brings me to thought #2...

    2. Instead of picking a big, hairy goal, I like to pick one or two things that I'm going to do every day that will make a big change over time. And I usually add one at a time.

    For example, a couple years ago I decided that I wanted to be stronger. So I go and lift 2-3 days a week. It's changed my body composition for the better. I am a long way from being Hercules, but I can tell a difference. The longer I do it, the more difference it should make.

    Another goal I've recently started is to save money from eating out lunches. (Eating out for lunch during the week is more of a laziness issue for me... I can eat leftovers, etc. Plus as a general rule, I can cook healthier foods than restaurants.) Anyway, so on days that I don't eat a lunch, I set aside $10 to put into my retirement account. It sounds cheesy, but it's kind of become a game for me.

    Anyway, all that to say that I basically do the opposite of New Year's Resolutions. I just pick small things that I can do (nearly) every day, and focus on doing those. In the end the big goals will be achieved if I can can just focus on the little things. That said, I do like the idea of annually assessing how the past year has gone from a birds-eye view.

    EDIT: After reading this, I realized that it may have sounded like I was pooh-poohing the idea of New Years Resolutions, which wasn't my intention. This is a great thread! Just wanted to put my personal take on it. Obviously I'm no expert, just saying what has worked for me. Lord knows I've failed enough different ways :)


  • jordan

    I ended up with a few too many health issues in 2018 that the doctor put under the over-arching umbrella of "stress." Talk about ambiguous, but my resolution is to keep trying things and combinations of things until I figure out what works to manage this "stress" in my life. I'm a bit more motivated than usual with this resolution since I don't want to feel like crap for a good chunk of 2019 like I did in 2018.

    So far, I'm tackling "stress" on these fronts:

    • more exercise to shed excess energy

    • moderately low carb diet (suggested by dr, generally < 100 grams of carbs per day, it's going well so far)

    • getting 7+ hrs of sleep a night

    • dabbling in meditation

    • letting others work out their own problems

    • reading for fun

    Any ONE of those could be a NYR, but I'm tired of feeling crappy. I've mostly got plans in place for all of the above and have been incorporating them into my daily routines off and on for a while, so I'm not doing a major life overhaul starting Jan 1. The resolution is moreso noticing what combinations help the most and refining my approach for the future as life changes and situations unfold.


    • glen

      Nice! I'm sorry for the health issues, but it sounds like you're taking a proactive approach to trying to improve them. Well done.


  • Razorback

    I don’t make resolutions in the traditional sense but I do try to think about things I want to accomplish in the coming year. For example, in 2019, I am resolved to getting into better shape. No drastic fad diets or crazy exercise programs, just a more sensible approach to how I treat my body.

    I would like to offer up a suggestion for others to consider. A couple of years ago, I resolved to remove the word “hate” from my vocabulary. As a professional marketer, I was finding it overused on every front (politics, sports, the media, etc.) and saw the damage it was causing. So, I became curious as to what our everyday world might be like if we did not have this word.

    As silly as it sounds, I firmly believe this has made me a better husband, friend and person in general. I have found that substituting for that one little word has changed my perception about many things. You see, “hate” is definitive. It implies there is no middle ground. It lets others know that you are firm in your resolve and will not budge. More importantly, it creates a wall between you and anyone that feels the opposite way (politics anyone?).

    For me, this has led to being more open minded and willing to consider alternatives. It also does not allow people/things get under my skin. More importantly, it has lowered the stress I would feel in certain conversations, things I would see/hear in the news, etc. I have convinced a few others to attempt it as well and all have come back to tell me how it impacted them in a positive way.

    I encourage you to give it a try.


    • jordan

      That's a fantastic idea. I started greatly reducing my use of the word "hate" a while back for similar reasons, but it still pops out occasionally (most recently in reference to how the mother-in-law's dachshund always follows me into the bathroom, dumb circumstance, yes, and I should probably say I "intensely dislike" it).


    • glen

      This is fantastic. You always bring the A-game, Razorback. I'm going to give this a shot.