Why we fail at but still make New Year Resolutions

Three things will happen in the coming few days.

First, lots of ‘happy new year messages’ will creep into your message inboxes. Some of them by people you haven’t heard from in months. ‘Top 10 of 2016’ lists of anything and everything will fly all around the internet. Motivating you to write and post one on Facebook yourself. And, most important of all, a barrage of new year resolutions (and their memes) will flood the Facebook feed, reminding you of how resolute the human beings are.

A few of such new year resolutions you’ll be making yourself. Like you made in the last year and the year before that. Sadly, like every year, you will forget these resolutions by the end of the first two weeks of January 2017.

As a young kid, I often used to wonder, about the utility of such promises. The existence of which are no different than the the fleeting existences of ‘mayflies’ that born and die on the same day. Why do we, then, embark upon this long journey when we know the dead-end is lurking only a few days ahead? Why do we lie, again and again, when we already know the outcome of these wishful promises, these fictions that we sell to ourselves?

It took me some time, and some of my own failed efforts to realize the true purpose of these new year resolutions.

You see the point of this ‘tradition of making resolutions’ is not just the efficacy of the end-result. It is more than that. The point is the ability of the human being, to reboot them just with a notional concept of ‘the first day of the year’

The date of January the first hasn’t changed anything. The sun will still rise in the east. The days will continue to follow their cycle. People around us are going to be same. We, too, are going to be same.

Nothing changes on the surface. Everything is exactly the way it was. The way it has been. But look beneath the layer of our existence, beneath the skin and flesh and bones that we are, everything is changed,

You see this beginning of new year changes how we perceive things. It adds newness to the meaning that we give to this world. And new year resolutions is a marker for that.

This psychological impact of ‘new’ does something on our mind, that refreshes our souls and emboldens our spirit to face what we were scared of facing. To challenge what had defeated us. It motivates us to take on the demons which we had locked and chained and hidden in the deepest recess of our psyches.

And this is what is important. To be able to start afresh. To be able to feel that things can change. That there is a new start to our lives, not matter how badly it has ended.

I think this is what separates the greatness hidden in us from the mediocrity that we usually find lurking in us -the ability to reboot and refresh ourselves as regularly as possible. How well we can rise after we fall? How well we can start again when it seems everything has ended.

And amazing things will happen if we can instill this ability to renew ourselves without waiting for a full year. Every month? Every week? There is no limit. The happy and successful people, I believe, see every day, as a new beginning. Leaving the failure of yesterday behind and focusing on the day ahead.

And then those who lived by this mantra not only every day but every second -every moment of their life, have ended up in the annals of the history as legends.

. . .

More than talent or luck, success is about sticking at one thing long enough that you really love doing. That’s what happens in THE MOUNTAIN — a short allegorical story about perseverance. Read here: THE MOUNTAIN


Originally published at Tidbits.