Saturday, December 8, 2007

Alternatives To New Year's Resolutions

The holidays are coming up, and with them the tradition of the New Year's resolution.

The last New Year's resolution I made, I was 16 or so. I resolved to become a worse person. It worked. In that respect, it was a very satisfying resolution. I wish I could say I then boldly decided the whole idea was silly and left it behind forever, but in reality, I just forgot the whole thing.

The major thing all New Year's resolutions have in common is that they very rarely happen. It's basically a tradition of not doing anything but saying you will. That's BS, and you might as well skip it.

But skip throwing out the baby with the bathwater too. The core idea of yearly cycles being a good time to reflect and set goals, that makes perfect sense.

Two things which are fun to do on New Year's Day - for certain values of "fun" - are to make a list of how you're different from who you used to be, and to make a list of stuff you want to do this year. Stuff to do should include both serious goals and fun things you've always wanted to do but never actually gotten around to, like skydiving, or playing miniature golf on LSD, or releasing a Ruby gem, or, for the serious adventurers, doing all three at the same time.

How I wish I could post a pic right here of somebody skydiving, playing miniature golf on LSD, and releasing a Ruby gem all at the same time. If you do it this year, be sure to e-mail me a pic so I can update my blog.

Resolutions are lame, but some time to look back and then decide where you're headed, that's worth doing.