I don’t get it! Sure, New Year’s Eve is a great excuse to party but what’s with New Year’s resolutions? Today, my patient proclaimed, “On New Year’s Eve, I’m quitting! It really didn’t matter if he was quitting smoking, eating, or drinking alcohol. New Year’s Eve is his magic moment to correct his last 20 years of sins against his body.
“It’s the New Year. You resolve to diet tomorrow. For sure! Tomorrow you will feast on tofu lumps and carrot chunks and swear off nachos for the entire millennium. Never again will a chocolate éclair or an ice-cold beer greet your lips. At dinner, you will munch on fricassee of algae while dishing up crispy fried chicken for the family. When you go out to eat, you’ll graze on cauliflower and kale stalks, oblivious to the ambient aroma of sizzling sirloin and the mouthwatering sight of the chocolate truffles at the next table. In the evening, you’ll sip your second gallon of water for the day while you catch the news, the weather report, and the commercials for juicy burgers with cheese fries. You’ll quit smoking, give up the booze, and never cuss again.
As for exercise, you’ll sign up for triathlons and join the local boxing gym. No more driving to work. You’ll park the car 5 miles away so that you can sprint through the crowds, perfecting your jumping jacks as you go. You’ll leap up the stairs, 2 at a time, to your 10th floor office, skip down the hall to the water cooler, and practice squats at your desk. After work, it’s off to aerobics class before you race home to pedal to Peoria on your exercise bike. Tomorrow! Absolutely! Positively! You are looking forward to it as much as having a root canal except root canals are quicker.
You’ll run away with your wife, go to Paris, make love from dusk to dawn. When you get back, you’ll take the kids to Disney. Since you are going to be fit, you’ll climb Mount Everest. You’ll do everything you’ve ever dreamed of tomorrow. Today, you’ll work to pay for it.
Today is the day you make a killing in the market! You’ll quit your job, buy expensive cars and houses. You’ll spend a few hours a day managing your funds. Today is the day! You would pray on it if you had not forgotten how.” (excerpt from “Diets and Other Unnatural Acts”).
So, why is New Year’s Eve so special? Is it that the new year brings new hope? If so, why wait until January 1 to resolve to change your life for the better? Why can’t your new year and new life start today? It seems to me that any day is a good day to quit whatever unhealthy habits you have and resolve to find happiness and “Wellth!” Wouldn’t it be better if every day brought hopes of a better and healthier future? Rather than resolving to change our lives for the better once a year on January 1, wouldn’t resolving to do better on a daily basis have a more enduring effect?
New Year’s Eve is a time when we let go of the past and look to the future. We wish our friends and family a happy and healthy new year. We even greet strangers by wishing them well.
When you wake up every morning, try letting go of the past and look to the future. Resolve to have a better day than yesterday. Wish someone well. I know people may look at you as if you are weird but wish everyone you meet a happy and healthy new day. I bet you’ll feel better.
New Year’s resolutions are often short lived. New day resolutions only need to survive 24 hours! This new day, resolve to be happier and healthier. Resolve to find “Wellth!” May every day be better than the last! May every day bring you hope and joy!