As the ball drops on the end of last year and the calendar is turned anew, it is hard to not have the obligatory long-view on the coming months, and an equal desire to make the most of them. Perhaps it is the simplicity of starting from the proverbial clean slate, or maybe it is just the calendared equivalent to simple math; whatever the reason, the 1st of January is poised to be the launching point for many of our goals for 2014. Of course, these are often discarded in a few months or less once we find out that they are as hard as they ever were (and sometimes harder due to the compounding effect of times passage). With that in mind—and after a very informal office poll and speaking to several of our trusted loyal readers—here it is: your top 5 Love/Hate conflicts to the bugger of them all: New Year’s Resolutions.
#5 Quit Smoking: Every year you say you are going to do it, but here it is another year and your lungs are only getting blacker (are you actually wheezing while you read this?). You have come up with the many excuses: you only smoke socially, only when enjoying a beverage, only when you are stressed; and even your best of friends don’t believe you anymore. You hate that you can’t quit, but you love the calming feel of the first puff. Quit if you can, of course, but if you can’t, take solace in the fact that even stopping for a few short months, is better than never stopping at all. (P.S If you’re really serious about quitting – see the ‘My Last Cigarette’ app on the bazaar apps page.)
#4 Be a Better Person/Volunteer: Okay can we really talk about how we should all be doing this already? If you are not part of the solution you are most certainly part of the problem—and generally that means all of us. While you hate the idea of one more obligation when there is always so much to do, how much better do you feel after you have helped even the smallest bit? Much better! So quit vacillating and waiting for the perfect time to get off the couch and simply decide to go lend a helping hand—anywhere!
#3 Save Money: Whether trying to pay off school debt, readying for a home purchase, or just gearing up to buy your next cheetah, we all need to save money some time. And what better day of the year to start with these goals than the very first one! So, like clockwork (and often with empty pockets after splurging on holiday gifts for our many friends), January comes through with enough wind to cause the hole in your wallet to whistle. That is the wind of change my friend and he is saying START SAVING! And we do, and it feels good, thank goodness. Until, that is, summer starts creeping up again, singing her sweet tune of far away lands, and we all want to travel. Easy come easy go- but the saving was good while it lasted.
#2 Work/Family Balance: You say it every year like a mantra coming out of the holidays: I will spend less time working, and more time with the family (extended, friends, or otherwise). And yet, in order to continue to move up in the ol’ chain of command in your workspace, something has to give. Sadly, it normally begins with a surrendering of your nights and weekends. We hate, hate, hate it. Still, how good does it feel as soon as you have reached your limit and you start to take that power back in your life? So, work as hard as you can, while you can, then lie back, and call in sick if you need to.
#1 Lose Weight/Get Healthy/Exercise More: There is a reason why most people start their workouts at the beginning of the week: simply, it’s subconsciously a good time for beginnings; so, what better way than the first day of the New Year. No doubt the gyms will be packed and everybody will start getting in their head about getting into beach shape. And that will last at least a solid 5 minutes, before we are all back to snack food and lazing around on the weekends. Just remember if you are a yoyo dieter, you can’t go down unless you come back up again, so start now. Hey is that a cookie over there? Gotta go…
I will leave you with one last note to wrap this up on a serious point. There is an old Chinese proverb that I would like to leave you with as motivation. Feel free to yell, curse, or disagree with me about it via social media:
‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.’
Love/hate is the nagging voice of my mother telling me to do things that do not come natural to my disposition. Ever in argument with each other, they both fight tirelessly to get the last word. Word!