New Year’s Eve brings the urge to make New Year’s resolutions despite their reputation as a bad idea. Resolutions don’t have an exceptionally good reputation for longevity, but many people make them nonetheless. The esteemed author Mark Twain knew this well saying, “Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”
However, hope springs eternal. At the beginning of 2017, NBC reported on the most popular resolution searches conducted on Google during the previous year. They found that more than 159 million people were seeking information on the following New Year’s pledges:
- Get Healthy: 62,776,640 searches
- Get Organized: 33,230,420 searches
- Live Life to the Fullest: 18,970,210
- Learn New Hobbies: 17,438,670 searches
- Spend Less/Save More: 15,905,290 searches
- Travel: 5,964,130 searches
- Read More: 4,746,560 searches
Those were the reasonable resolutions. We found others that probably never should have been made. They obviously served no good purpose except to provide us with some hearty laughs. Here are some of the New Year’s resolutions you should probably avoid making for 2018.
Lifestyle decisions that waste time:
- Collect airsick bags from every major airline.
- Knit more sweaters for freezing trees.
- Get serious about “news raiding” by appearing and waving in the background of more live TV shots.
- Move to the desert to become a nomad.
- Quit your job to save the whales.
Lifestyle decisions that will save time:
- Find out why the correspondence course on “Mail Fraud” that was purchased never showed up.
- Always replace the gas nozzle before driving away from the pump.
- Keep an extra safe distance when driving behind police cars.
Health resolutions that definitely won’t work:
- Quit using toothpaste.
- Lick a doorknob every day.
- Do less laundry and wear more deodorant.
- Eat more nice things like candy, Big Macs, popcorn and ice cream. Eat less “junk” like fresh fruit, vegetables, and soy nuts.
Health resolutions that will work:
- Remembering to brush your teeth with the bristly end of the toothbrush.
- Pledging not to eat medicine just because it looks like candy.
- Never again taking a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
Might We Suggest Committing the Previous “Do’s and Don’ts” for New Year’s Resolutions to Memory?
When it comes right down to it, a positive spin on life in 2018 will probably be more helpful than any specific resolution. A more upbeat approach may help to manage life’s challenges and cope with adversity. We found a few resolutions made by hard-driven, Type A entrepreneurs who wanted to focus on quality of life again. They may be worth consideration, either in theory or in real-life application.
Working 50 Percent Less
“After reading countless posts about how much MORE people were going to do in the next year, I realized that the more we pile onto our busy schedules, the harder it is to achieve anything worthwhile. So, I decided to do the opposite: remove all the superfluous activity, focus on the high leverage actions and do it in half the time. The result? I traveled to 19 countries and doubled my income.”
CARTER THOMAS, founder, bluecloudsolutions.com
“I resolved to write a gratitude list every single day, no matter what. It has been about seven years now, and writing the list has been the most powerful exercise I’ve ever undertaken.”
ABHILASH PATEL, founder, Abhilash.co
When all else fails, one simple rule of thumb is usually the most successful tactic to recalibrate one’s thinking. As the new year approaches, keep in mind the words of Bobby Bowden, best known for coaching the Florida State Seminoles from 1976 to 2009. Although his focus was athletic coaching, we think it applies to life coaching as well. Here’s what he said.
“To have the kind of year you want to have, something has to happen that you can’t explain why it happened. Something has to happen that you can’t coach.”
Be spontaneous once in a while, find joy, wear deodorant and be kind to others. That may be enough to carry you through the new year. Happy New Year from all of us to you!