New Year’s Resolution

So, resolutions are fine. Those that involve you bettering yourself are the best kind. Making any type of resolution for the New Year is dumb. Let me explain my logic: I’m right.

Ok, let me dive a little deeper. The problem with the New Year’s resolution is its start is based on an entirely arbitrary time. So, I’m going to eat like shit until January 1, then it’s nothing but salads and rice cakes. Well, your body will go through shock when you do that. I’m no scientist, and am generally pretty dumb, in fact it took me at least six attempts to spell scientist correctly. The one thing I know is if you are setting a resolution on New Year’s, it’s going to be a larger than average resolution. You’re not waiting until your wall calendar is useless to declare you’re going to get one good haircut in the next year. Your resolutions are to lose weight by going to the gym more or be on your phone less. These resolutions should be big deals, it’s a whole new year! Forget I just said it wasn’t. So, in honor of the Earth hitting a random point in its rotation around the sun, here now is the secret of making a successful resolution. Don’t resolve to DO anything.

Ok, I might need to explain that a bit. Losing weight is great! Being on your phone less is great! But here’s the flaw: it’s a pass/fail thing. You say you’re going to lose 30 pounds, but you’ve only lost three by June? Doesn’t feel great. You’re going to be on your phone less, but every week, your screen report fails to cooperate . So, making a goals-based resolution is problematic. Let me tell you about my resolution for 2022: appreciate incremental, even minuscule progress.

One of my favorite cliches about government advocacy, which I use constantly, is both super lame and a perfect example of what I’m talking about. How do you eat a whale? One bite at a time. If you focus on how big the whale is, it’s impossible to appreciate any progress you’ve made. As you lose weight, celebrate losing two pounds in two weeks! If you’re trying to look at your phone less, celebrate when it goes down even one week out of a dozen.

In 2021, a year that was supposed to be monumentally better than 2020, it was not. But I also went from not running ever, to getting back into it. I took up the guitar in 2020, and found pure joy in 2021 for nailing a chord transition. Am I a great runner (even compared to just myself a few years earlier), or a fantastic guitar player? Not at all, but I can run up a hill in the park without having to stop, and I can hit a F bar chord 50% of the time. Those are both huge!

So, as we say goodbye to 2020 2.0, find joy in little wins. I hope we all have huge wins in 2022, but truly appreciate those days when you get off your butt to go for a run. Shake your pom poms when you lose half a pound more than your weekly goal. Spike that football when you master a small part of a larger goal. Beyond being more productive than giving up halfway through the year, imagine if 2022 is a year full of you celebrating the minute victories. That seems like a fantastic new year to me.

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Veteran of Capitol Hill, Annapolis, state and federal lobbyist, campaign management, and anything else political except running for office. Twitter’s @abesaffer

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Abe Saffer

Veteran of Capitol Hill, Annapolis, state and federal lobbyist, campaign management, and anything else political except running for office. Twitter’s @abesaffer