When I hear people making resolutions on New Year's Eve, I always have the same two thoughts:
I hope they're not driving.
And, what are you thinking?
That you are actually going to quit smoking on New Year's Day? That a post-holiday season laden with leftovers is the best time to begin a diet? That the sound of a howling winter wind will motivate you to jump out of bed in the dark of morning and go for a run?
I mean, let's everybody get a grip here.
The problem with New Year's resolutions is not the intent, which is admirable … I suppose. Heck, on some level it is probably even healthy to occasionally entertain wildly optimistic delusions of willpower.
No, it's the timing that's way off. The morning following the year's biggest party is not a good day to begin anything that even remotely smacks of sacrifice.
Plus, it's January. January is not about giving up stuff. January is about survival. People looking to self-improve in January are either not from around here, or are off their meds.
The other problem with making public New Year's resolutions is that it has gotten increasingly more difficult to hide your inevitable failure.
Take smoking. Back when everybody smoked it was easy to give up smoking because everyone smelled like smoke so you could easily sneak cigarettes. These days reformed puffers are not only capable of picking up the scent of a smoker a mile away, but could track him through a swamp if necessary.
Diet failure is another pledge that is more difficult to disguise. As we have become more overweight as a nation, we have developed more sophisticated ways of determining if someone is winning or losing the battle of Ben & Jerry's. How? Without getting too technical, let's just say that chins are like tree rings, you can learn a lot by counting them.
As for exercise, the truth is the world is divided into two groups: those who were meant to exercise and those who were meant to join health clubs in January and then feel guilty the rest of the year about never stopping in for a visit.
As the philosopher "Dirty Harry" always says: "A man's got to know his limitations."