In my 37 years I’ve made a whole hell of a lot of New Year’s resolutions. I’ve resolved to lose weight, build muscle, face my fears, eat right, quit my job, be more generous, become a better friend, and make something of my life. Among others.
Know how many I’ve kept? Just one.
You’d think that after having made so many resolutions in my life, the odds alone would lead to a higher rate of success. Sadly, that hasn’t been the case.
And I doubt I’m the only one.
How many New Year’s resolutions have you made? Now how many have you kept?
I hope you’ve had more success than I have, but if you haven’t, there’s still hope. There’s more than one path to change. The greatest successes I’ve experienced in personal growth have come outside of New Year’s resolutions.
But before we get to that, maybe I should elaborate a little bit more about the one New Year’s resolution I actually kept. The only one I ever kept.
The last resolution I ever made.
I wish I could tell you that I had resolved to turn my life around and make a difference in this world. Or that my resolution was to help those who couldn’t help themselves. Even a simple “I vow to give more to this world than I take” would have been a worthwhile goal to keep.
But no. Not even close.
Of all the grand resolutions I ever made, the only one I ever kept was . . .
“This year, I resolve to drink more.”
And I wasn’t talking about eight glasses of water a day.
My friends thought it was a joke. We all laughed about it then went on with our business.
But I meant it.
For once in my life, I want to keep just one fucking New Year’s resolution.
So I took the easy way out. Instead of some great resolution to help humanity — or even just help friends and family – I resolved to drink more. Get liquored up. Drink my fucking sorrows into oblivion.
And I kept that one. I kept the fuck out of it.
What does that say about the kind of man I was? Could I even call myself a man? Where the fuck did I go so wrong?
You want to know what it feels like to have kept just one New Year’s resolution in your entire life – a selfish little resolution to fucking drink more?
It feels like shit. Pure fucking shit.
It felt like shit then, and still feels like shit now.
That was my final New Year’s resolution . . . I will never make another.
Thank God that’s not the end of the story. In the years since, I’ve managed significant change without grand New Year’s resolutions. I don’t need them.
And you don’t need them either.
I have nothing against New Year’s resolutions. If they work for you, then great. Keep being awesome.
But if your track record isn’t so good; if you’ve failed more often than you’ve succeeded; then quit playing the game by the same damn rules.
Make your own rules. Change when you want to because you want to. Don’t make your resolutions just because it’s New Year’s. Don’t resolve to change just because everyone else is. Most are only making vows they won’t keep either.
Go it alone. Change on your terms. Do it for YOU!
This world doesn’t need anymore empty fucking promises from empty fucking souls. If you want to change then just get to it.
It won’t be easy. It won’t be fun.
When you are ready, you will have to look into some dark fucking places you’d rather stay blind to. You can’t avoid it.
Acceptance is a bitch. It hits you like no other. It’s worse than fear. It’s worse than anger or despair.
Acceptance is Truth. Hard Truth. And Truth has no pity. It won’t spare your feelings. It won’t tell you everything’s ok.
Truth brings pain.
But it’s necessary. It’s your first step along a different path.
And it doesn’t come from some drunken vow on New Year’s Eve.
So make your resolutions if you must. Proclaim them to friends and family with champagne and cheers all around. But know that true everlasting change does not come from something so superficial.
True change hurts . . . in the beginning, it hurts. So expect pain.
But from that pain a new you will emerge. Like the Phoenix from the ashes.
“Here’s to a new year and new beginnings. Tipping my glass to you, my friends.”
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