Stop making new year resolutions


Like every one else I know, and don’t know, I have had my fair share of new year resolutions over the years – but looking back – I DO NOT REMEMBER EVEN ONE such resolution in any great detail.  I also DO NOT REMEMBER even one time when I cried “Eureka, I made good on my new year resolution”.So what is with people (I am part of the “people” too? Why do we keep doing it?

There are a bunch of reasons why I think it is a bad idea to begin with. Weight loss is, I suspect , every living and dead man’s and woman’s and animal’s  usual resolution come January the 1st.. So let us see how well this goes.

It is December 12th – and I start my vacation. I already know that my new year resolution is to lose a hundred pounds off me. But new year is 3 weeks away – so I don’t have to worry about it quite yet. So I could still have all the meat and rice and potatoes and cream and so on, and not feel bad about it. So by the time new year’s land – I am heavier by few more pounds, and have practically ensured that I will never make good on the resolution.

What the heck? I still make the resolution. I start paying a hundred bucks every month to the best gym in town – believing that if I am paying for it, I surely will be doing it. And I do start strong – I take the private lessons, I religiously do 30 mins of cardio and 30 mins of weights for four days a week and so on.  And the 100 bucks covers my wife (if we do it together, we should have higher chance of making it succesful) and child care for my kiddo. So I am set up for success.

This goes well for a few weeks…and then . Yes, you guessed it right – I still like rice and meat, and I still hate exercise. I go to the hotel gym to find the lone treadmill in use. Ah well..I could walk a mile and get the same exercise. Except I don’t want to walk – it is too hot, too cold, too windy, too dark – if only mother nature gave me a break. Not to despair – I go back home in a couple of days, and can always make up.

So there I am at the gym – only to learn that my body does not respond kindly when I switch to greater weights and longer times. So, I don’t push it – and by february – I go to the gym twice a month, but still pay them a hundred bucks every month.

Oh but stop – you have to cut down on your food too. You have to take a holistic ( who made this word? it rings true with hole…not Whole..) view to weight loss, according to the Rambo like guy on TV who inspired me. You also need special blenders to make you healthy smoothies.

I can buy that – it is pretty logical. So I measure calories on every darn edible thing I dare to even look at. I stick to portion control religiously – to the extent that I dread lunch and dinner time.  Lets cut the miserable story short – you guessed right again, it does not work. I fall back to larger portions of the stuff i like.

As part of the weight loss campaign – I also bought a new weighing scale. And every week on Saturdays, I weigh myself and write it down. This is a very depressing way of starting my weekend most times. occasionally, it brings a smile to me – when I have lost 2 pounds. Although my head says that it is because I didn’t have much fluids on friday – my heart makes me believe that it is because of 10 minutes of extra cycling I did at the Gym.

Weight loss resolution at new year’s time is just an example of such bad ideas – weight loss by best friend’s marriage, training puppy to make it a canine good citizen in 3 weeks, running boston marathon next year – so on and so forth, are all in the same boat.

I have some theories about this, and  I am going to try these for myself.

1. Aim small – Miss small : You can probably lose 1 pound a week for next 3 weeks. But this is not a scalable goal – so do this 3 week thing and reset your goal, rather than aiming for 50 pounds in a year.

2. Our strengths are in different areas. The gal who cannot lose enough weight to run the Boston Marathon, might have sufficient strength to get through college in the next year or two. Find out what your strength is – and achieve that goal. Success breeds success – so if you are succesful in something you are good at, then you can use that adrenalin rush to help you with succeeding in something that you are not all that good at.

3. Variety is the spice of life – so do a variety of things in life. This is the hardest to do. We all have an inertia to stay with status quo. Try to get over it, and try something new – cook something new, walk a trail you have not tried before or teach your dog a new trick. And don’t worry about success – this is just to break the monotony of daily life. Success is just having the ability to try. I am particularly bad at this – so this is something I am seriously going to challenge myself .

So let’s do ourselves a favor – and make a new year resolution that “We won’t make any new year resolution”  !

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