Sunday, January 01, 2006

As Good a Resolution As Any
This one comes to us from Ben Stein.

I used to make new years resolutions, but I've decided recently to stop. I think it's a poor state of affairs when you need a holiday to determine that something in your life has got to change. For one thing, people never keep them. Why do we see the diet ads spring up starting the week before January 1? Because every year, people say the same thing: "This is the year I'm going to get in shape." And they never do.

More than that, you should never need an excuse to fix the things that you aren't happy with; you should always be attuned to your needs, and take steps to meet them. So if you're going to make a resolution this year, make it your last—make a resolution to make resolutions whenever they're needed.

So happy new year, everyone. May you have a prosperous and joyous 2006. And one more thing—I leave you with this thought, that should be everyone's prayer on the first of this year:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
                —Reinhold Niebuhr
UPDATE [1/2/2005 - 22:30]: Apparently, James Lileks agrees with me:
In any case, quitting smoking is the ultimate silly resolution because, like the rest, it sets you up to fail. I'll eat an apple every day! A week later you're having a bowl of Apple Jacks for a snack; a month later you have expanded the definition of "eating an apple" to licking your iPod.

Make no resolutions. Initiate change gradually. Remember: There was nothing special about Jan. 1. You can change your life any day of the year. Which, perversely, is usually what keeps you from doing it.
So, if something in your life needs to change, just sack up and get it done.

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