RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.
*Written in 2016.
Resolutions are stupid and 99.9% of us fail at keeping them. They are too extreme and come with too much pressure. And then we beat ourselves up over some impossible task that we were so certain we would do before coming to the realization that we underestimated the difficulty of the change or we just didn’t think it through well enough.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I haven’t since high school, when it was pretty much customary to return to class after winter break and tell everyone what your resolution was. Back then, it was better grades, to be better at sports or the one you didn’t say out loud, to get with that hot chick in your chemistry class.
As an adult, people join the gym on January 1st, go on some extreme juice cleanse bullshit diet or decide to do some sort of extreme behavioral modification – thinking they can completely change on an instantaneous whim like magic. Shit just isn’t that simple. Well, joining a gym and staying fit is fairly simple but those who fail seem to push too hard, too fast, right out of their comfort zone – physically and mentally.
There is nothing wrong with bettering yourself. Hell, one of the key points of life and growing older, is bettering yourself. You learn from your mistakes, you make changes, you adapt and you improve as a human being and at finding what you’re good at, what you enjoy and who you truly are. That is why growing older is truly fucking awesome.
And yeah, it is January 3rd, as I write this. Maybe I’m a few days late at reaching out to people regarding the New Year’s resolution hysteria. But then again, many of you may have already faltered at your annual promise already. That’s fine. Fuck it. Don’t hate yourself over it. Instead, be a bit more realistic because maybe you went hardcore out the gate and immediately crashed into a wall.
Think about the end result of what you want to achieve. If it is weight loss, getting diesel or something else, think about the end result of your ideal goal achieved. Forget about the time, the amount of work involved and trying to take it all on at once. Make it your decision to reach that goal, no matter how long it takes and at what pace. If you fall today, move forward tomorrow. Starting at an extreme rate usually has an equally or greater extreme rate of crashing and burning. Know your pace and don’t kill yourself over it.
Again, I don’t do the whole New Year’s resolution thing. I make goals around the beginning of the year that I want to achieve. They aren’t resolutions and they have nothing to do with it being a new year. It just so happens that New Year’s Day is just after the holidays and my birthday, a period of time where I am the furthest away from being a master of diet and fitness. In fact, I am pretty much drunk from Thanksgiving till around January 2nd or so. It just so happens that the beginning of the calendar year is a good time to hit the reset button.
Anyway, I look at where I am, decide where I want to go and I work towards it. I don’t try to hike twenty miles on a mountain trail on day one; I start slow and work my way up. I approach it realistically. If I ran out of my house, hungover but gung ho, in an effort to scale mountains and epic distances, I’d probably fall down the side of the mountain sliding down a trail of my own bourbon-scented puke.
If you’ve already quit, get back on that damned horse and get back to it. Just slow your roll. Exist in reality, you aren’t a superhero.
My time for getting my shit together is tomorrow morning. I always start on my first day back to work after the holidays. Besides, who wants to actually start their “new you” bullshit on New Year’s Day, hungover and fiending for a bag of McMuffins and a bottle of Excedrin Migraine?
As long as you keep working towards your goal, you are succeeding. And failure today doesn’t mean failure tomorrow. Unless you continue to choose failure.