Cost Analysis

Same old new year resolutions, same results

January 7, 2014 

Does anyone else find it odd that we use the calendar to create a “fresh start” every 365 days?

That doesn’t happen for months. It isn’t like we suffer through 31 arduous days in January and then cheer the arrival of February. But each year ends and we use an artificially created point to call a beginning, which usually comes with resolutions. But because we inevitably fail at those resolutions, it seems that all the new year does is set ourselves up for disappointment.

Sounds like a good thing to keep repeating!

Think about the futility of resolutions. If I’ve stuffed my craw with cheeseburgers during the past year, why should Jan. 1 put tofu and kale on my plate? If my nose runs more than I do, why should Jan. 1 plop me on a treadmill with every other Jane, Dick and Harry waiting to use the machine after me? If I’ve slacked off on the job for several months, why should Jan. 1 find me the first one in brewing coffee to keep awake for a string of 12-hour workathons?

Why do we resolve to do things we should have done anyway?

Let’s just come to the realization we are a lazy society that needs constant motivation. Guys who write self-help books have figured that out and by giving you some false hope, they rake in thousands of your dollars for their efforts. Dr. Phil has created a mini-empire by shaming people for their inactivity. Because I’m a good guy and no amount of money will get me to kowtow to Phil or Oprah and become a another shyster getting rich off peoples’ problems, I’ll give you the secret to change for free: Only you decide when to change.

I can scream at my son for hours for smelling like a locker room, but until he’s ready not to repulse away the girls, he won’t clean up. I can tell myself that a doughnut a day keeps the doctor away until my arteries clog and chest pains send me to the ER. I can tell myself tanning beds are OK (how the heck did anyone ever think sitting in a heat chamber to turn yourself orange was a good idea?). The point is that Jan. 1 shouldn’t be any different than March 22 or Oct. 19.

If observation has taught me anything, it is that we often know what’s right to do, but we instead do what we want to do, and the two aren’t always the same. Either accept that and move on, or actually make change. Any day of the year – not just Jan. 1.

You can reach Scott at costanalysiscolum@gmail.com to compare orange tans.

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