New Year's Resolution Solution

Check it out: First thing I'm gonna do is shell out for one of those big-ass RVs with all the bells and whistles and go glamping at Big Sur. Then it's private jet time where I whisk off to tea in England, wine and cheese at an outside bistro in France, dinner at a posh ristorante in Italy and then on to Australia, ya' know, 'cause the summer's just beginning Down Under. And while I'm living large I'm gonna get myself a fancy top-notch personal trainer, ya' know, the kind all the celebs hire. So yeah, I get that this'll cost a lot of dough so I'll be inventing something really cool that takes off worldwide and fills my coffers with more bling than Bezos. And I'll be learning a new language; make that two, while simultaneously volunteering as a Meals on Wheels driver and doing that Big Brother thing on the weekend. And that, peeps, is just a small part of my New Year's Resolution List!

I know, I know, pretty damn impressive. And yet, somehow, not even close to believable. And that's really the point. To some extent we all tend to look back on the past year wishing we'd accomplished more and vowing that, indeed, this upcoming year we're gonna make up for it. And then some. And so, come the first few weeks of January you're dieting and working out and maybe even accomplishing a few pet projects that have been on hold since, like, Seinfeld went into syndication. But then the winter doldrums set in and you decide not to work out that day. Ya' know, the same day you "accidentally" find yourself at the McDonald's drive-thru window ordering two of everything (and sadly, no, nobody else is in the car). And after that, of course you're gonna rethink the whole "resolution thing" realizing you'd set yourself up to fail all along and it's a damn good thing that fact dawned on you in time. Just imagine if you'd gone all year in the dark?

So this yearly resolution bit, how did it all start, right? If you say you knew it began with the ancient Babylonian festival, Akitu, some 4,000 years ago you'd be right (and big-time lying; no way you knew that). Every year, at the start of the farming season, they would make promises to pay their debts. The Babylonian New Year along with its tradition of resolutions was adopted by the ancient Romans, eventually shifting with the Julian calendar in 46 B.C. to January 1st as the start of the new year, to honor the two-faced Roman god, Janus, who looks forward to new beginnings as well as backward for reflection and resolution. As opposed to today's two-faced politicians who look forward to re-election and backward to see if anyone's watching them bamboozle their constituents.

This same resolution observance was also prevalent in the middle ages with medieval knights renewing their yearly vow to chivalry. And by 1813 a Boston newspaper featured the first recorded use of the phrase “New Year resolution". These objectives entered the 20th century more in a religious or spiritual nature, reflecting a desire to develop a stronger moral character and work ethic. And now, of course, it's become diluted to the point where it's mostly about trying to quit smoking or lose weight. A frivolous last minute end-of-the-year throwaway gesture destined to be broken as early as mid-morning New Year's Day. Or more to the point, a device employed by health clubs to entice people to sign up for the entire year knowing full well 90% of their patrons will be history by mid-February.

So this crazy tradition that manages to make us feel even worse about ourselves early into each succeeding year... what are we to do with that? I mean, if we refuse to play the game aren't we admitting to quitting right out of the gate? And in a sense isn't that even worse than not making the initial pledge, as feeble as it usually is to begin with? If only there was another way to improve ourselves without all the fuss. Some kind of "carrot on a stick" approach that gives us an incentive to actually look forward to the upcoming year's resolutions. Some way to fool ourselves into doing the right thing... Wait a sec, what are we talkin' here? Could it be some kind of self reverse psychology?...

Okay, so I'm making a new list; scratch the glamping (man, what a dumbass word) and tea in England (java's my go-to anyway) and the French bistro (such a snooty bunch, the French) and Italian ristorantes (right, like they don't have pasta here?): First off, gonna drink more. Lot's more. And maybe take up smoking. Just a few cigarettes at first but gradually I think I can make my way up to a pack a day. And cursing?... yeah, we're gonna step that up a notch. And nix the trainer as I'll be puttin' on some lbs. 'cause, like, there will be no exercising to speak of, unless you count walking to and from the fridge. Alrighty then, I like it. This can definitely work. Ya' know, until a week or two into February when I'll lose all my willpower and revert to my old ways, going back on each and every vow, forgoing smoking and drinking in favor of long walks and trips to the gym. And best of all, I'll know that come the end of December I can conjure up a new list, with all my favorite vices, for the upcoming year. So yeah that, my friends, is my "New Year's Resolution Solution".