I have come to the conclusion that resolutions are useless. We never follow through with them. I randomly googled “New Years resolution failure rates” and got varying statistics, from 50% to 97%. That’s pretty terrible. I think the problem lies in simple human nature. We can resolve to do something, but without a reward for success or a punishment for failure we lack the drive to see our resolution to completion.
But sometimes it works out that the resolution is its own reward. In 2010 my resolution was something along the lines of “screw it, just do it.” It’s because the year before there were a lot of things that I wanted to do but couldn’t find people to do it with. So I decided that I would go and do them, even if it meant going with a really small group, or even doing it alone. The reward was that I would live life more fully, which I think was true for 2010.
For 2011 I want to lose weight, which I guess should be its own reward too. But I had resolved to do this and failed before, so I thought about giving myself a reward for success. I was thinking my reward should be a trip to Hawaii if a six pack starts to show by September 1st. Sounds good right? I have a goal, a deadline, a viewable measure of success, and a reward. Sounds like all the elements are there for success.
As I get older I am becoming more and more of a realist. And so I realize that I will probably fail at this resolution. What will probably happen is that I will be lazy and fat until September 1st, then I’d decide that I still want to go Hawaii, so I’d take a sharpie and draw a six pack on my big round belly. Then I’d go and book my flight to Hawaii, lie on the beach and look like a beached whale. I guess looking like a beached whale would work though, it could be the punishment for failing in my resolution.