JASON REYNOLDS

writin' and whatnot

The thing about New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year, everyone. I'm sure by now most of us have blurted out to a friend what our resolutions for 2013 are — how we are going to become better and new and less this and more that, and I think that to resolve to be a better person is always a good thing. I just also know that resolving, and actually becoming are two very different verbs, and the painful truth is that to become a different person, to change the things you believe are worth changing, is much harder to do than it is to say after your fourth glass of champagne. As a matter of fact, I bet a HUGE number of us resolved to do better at controlling ourselves and knowing our limits — a resolve made on the morning of New Years Day when you woke up with your face glued to the toilet bowl. Now I'm not saying that wont be your last porcelain snuggle session, I'm just saying that you and I both know that that's highly unlikely. And that's okay. Resolutions are often a setup for disappointment, only because we tell ourselves that this change is just a flip of the switch.

We say, "This year, I'm going to be more patient."

But in our minds we hear, "This is year, I will not be impatient at all."

Even how are minds perceive the term, "This year," is tricky. We say, "This YEAR," which emphasizes that this could take a year to change which is natural and gradual and makes sense, but we compute, "THIS year," which empasizes, sort of this, "right NOW is the time," which creates an unrealistic urgency and pressure mentally.

What's the point you ask?

Well, I guess all I'm trying to say is, make resolutions — decide you want to change and be better. But instead of beating yourself up for not being a robot with modes and settings that can be programmed to be different over night, give yourself a break, and allow yourself to appreciate the process and time it takes to really change. If by June you haven't quite nailed it, guess what, you still have six more months.

Now if by December you haven't gotten it right, well, you failed.

Better luck next year.