I am terrible at New Year’s resolutions. Embarrassingly so. Although I try and fail annually, the process always teaches me something about myself. Take a look and see what I’ve figured out from my failed New Years’ Resolutions.
RESOLUTION 1: GET IN SHAPE.
Like the majority of people, I attempt to get in shape at the beginning of the year. I kick off January with fresh running shoes and unrealistic expectations. I decide to eat healthier, consuming four leftover Christmas cookies instead of five. I initiate my exercise with a run through the neighborhood. At around the halfway point, I begin to lose steam. My efforts are rewarded with a severe cramp between my ribs. Unable to take it, I screech to a halt. There are pedestrians on the other side of the street and I don’t want to look weak. I pull out my phone, look at it, and nod like I have successfully broken a personal record. I am a liar and a glutton. Is it worth suffering from joint pain and sore lungs for the sake of slightly muscular thighs and a flat stomach?
I have an internal fight with my conscience.
“What if you have to get away from some kind of predator? You aren’t in shape enough to outrun anything.”
“Well, if it’s my time, it’s my time.”
I soccer mom walk jog back to the house and eat my fifth cookie.
RESOLUTION 2: BE AN ACTIVE SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE.
After someone looked at my Instagram and told me that “I hadn’t changed a bit since the eighth grade,” I developed a fear of posting just any old picture. As a result, I am terrible at keeping up with my social media. I look at other people’s pages but rarely ever update my own. When I do make a post, I almost always use a pun as my caption. I am the notification that pops up on your home screen saying, “so-and-so posted for the first time in a while.” I resolve to be a social media presence in 2018. This is not going well. Twice I tried to post, but my insecurities got the better of me. I exit my social media pages and try to lift myself up again by listening to Oprah talk.
RESOLUTION 3: STOP ACTING LIKE YOU KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE JUST BECAUSE YOU READ THE WIKIPEDIA SUMMARY.
I read Wikipedia summaries the way your relatives read poorly sourced articles they find on Facebook. I fall down, down, down the rabbit hole of endless inaccurate articles. If a movie, book, or TV show is too intense for me to handle, I whip out my phone and educate myself in the least cultured way possible. Then, I have a gross tendency to talk about the said movie, book, or TV show as if I actually saw it or read it. I try to stop to no avail. The way addicts return to their vices, I return to Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. I kill my clean streak by explaining parts of I, Tonya, a film I have not seen.
Every year I am forcibly reminded that self-improvement is exhausting. As I struggle to manufacture the best version of myself, I find solace in the fact that I am at least trying. Imagine a world in which we all annually tried to worsen ourselves, brutally murdering our own positive character development. We could all strive to use the term “on fleek” more, or we could aim to burn down the gym instead of joining it. But we do not. Instead, we are aware that there are ways to make our lives better and try to follow through with them. And, if at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again.