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New Year’s Resolutions (Don’t) Suck?

Note: I don’t want to write. I don’t want to post. I don’t want to think about the optimal time to schedule a post. But I have to: this post has a dictated timeframe with it being about the goddamn New Year. I simply don’t have a choice. So time to buckle down and force something out against my will. This is the struggle of blogging.

I’ve never been a fan of making New Year’s Resolution (as you can read here) but I recently watched a YouTube video by Veritasium that has somehow gotten me totally hyped for the New Year. (I’ll link it below if I can figure out how to do so. You know, learning WordPress and all…) Like I’ve bought into all the bullshit about it for some reason. Maybe it’s because I’ve felt like the past year or two has been an incomprehensible blur and I want a firm date to change my mindset and make small but perceptible changes to my self and my life? I don’t know. At this point I’m not trying to question my random positive mood here. I’m running with it as is because it is a rare and uplifting thing for me to do.


If you didn’t watch the video, Derek explains a few key takeaway points about resolutions:

  1. New Year’s is the best time to set out to do something
  2. Despite #1 most resolutions fail because of the following three reasons:
  3. Resolutions need to be small and not too big or dramatic
  4. They need to be measurable and clear. Vague resolutions will almost always fail
  5. They mustn’t require a ton of willpower

When you’re given these restraints you instantly see the idea of resolutions as better than the popular pipe-dreams you typically hear spouted off. Instead of criticizing people for picking random and unachievable stuff like “be a better person” or “lose weight” you start to realize that maybe by picking smaller and easier to achieve things you might actually be able to fundamentally change yourself in the 365 366 days that are 2020 (2020 is a leap year?! Hello February 29th!). Given these restraints you might start to feel emboldened: maybe New Year’s Resolutions are a good way to start your journey throughout the New Year?

As for my actual resolutions, I’m leaning towards something like giving a single compliment to someone every day. It’s not dramatic, it’s measurable, and achievable but at the same time me going out of my mostly negative and reclusive shell to actually dish out compliments might do me good in the long run. Like Derek said, it’s the idea behind improving 1% a day which leads to massive improvements over time. Now that I think of this more, it does seem pretty adventurous too; what do I do on weekends when I’m only around family? Do I make a pact to only compliment strangers because complimenting family is too easy? Where I’ll have to compliment the denizens that inhabit Walmart or the local derelict gas station? There are some details to work out here for sure because I see some easy ways out for my future self. But I think it’s a good start.

Another possible idea I’ve discovered scouring Veritasium’s YouTube page (he mentioned putting resolutions in the comments) was to wake up early every day. I have a nasty habit of waking up at 12 p.m. after pissing away hours in bed looking a Reddit between 12-3 a.m. so this might help my mood, writing, blogging, productivity, etc. Other random and possible ideas I might settle on are reading something everyday, writing something everyday, and only drinking on Sunday. They are mostly small, easy to enact, and measurable (if I clear up the general “something” that is) so should be accomplishable, but as stated I still have two days to flesh out my ideas into something more concrete. Let me know what your resolutions are below so I might be able to steal them if they’re good enough.

New Year’s Resolutions suck. But this year I’m finding myself embracing them.

Closing Note: I’ve also had this terrible idea to make shirts hating on the New Year.

By TheBlackhairedGuy

I'm a guy. And I have black hair. Well not really because it is slowly turning grey. I suppose TheNotquiteBlackhairedGuy doesn't have quite the same ring to it, does it? I write the blog as well as dabble in some freelance writing.

4 replies on “New Year’s Resolutions (Don’t) Suck?”

I completely agree with it “mustn’t require a ton of willpower”. Ever since I was a kid, my new year’s resolution has always been to lose weight through exercise and diet. Year after year, I failed because trying to lose weight takes a lot of willpower, and I honestly just didn’t want to lose weight THAT badly enough for my willpower to kick in.

Liked by 1 person

I think it’s hard because it’s difficult to quantify day to day. I used to weight myself daily and fluctuations of five pounds wasn’t unusual which would wreak havoc on willpower.

Doing something health wise would be smart though. Maybe I’ll set a goal to eat a fruit or a vegetable every day? Sounds like that would lead to many 11 p.m. trips to the store though.


I’m opposed to New Year Resolutions simply because I’m a prick who enjoys telling people they will fail, but I agree with V… Vet…Derek. As much as people say “January 1st is just another day; you can choose to start something new ANY day”, there is actually a huge difference between January 1st and every other day of the year. There’s a lot of social hype around it that gets you more motivated than, say, August 23rd.

A few years ago I listened to a podcast that advocated New Year THEMES instead of resolutions. The idea is that you don’t have to keep a streak of a single activity to succeed, you just have to keep your theme in mind and try to adhere to it throughout the year. While I like this idea, I did try it for two years and forgot about it after about two weeks both times, lol.

Now that I consistently use a planner I could probably make an honest go of following a resolution. I like your two ideas. Giving someone a compliment every day is a big Jordan Peterson thing and we both know how I feel about him, haha. He says that it takes ridiculously little encouragement to make someone’s day significantly better and it’s a shame that almost nobody does it.

Waking up early is a life-changer, too. I get up an hour before I need to now and get to work almost 2 hours early to either study or write a blog post. As crazy as it might sound, I actually want to get up even earlier so I can add the gym back into my morning routine. I can’t make that a new years resolution, though, because the gym is just too goddamn busy in January.

Liked by 1 person

That was my main reasoning behind hating resolutions, the whole failing thing. But yeah, there isn’t a better day of the year to try something new, especially when you could have a random date like what you said. I couldn’t imagine starting anything on August 23rd.

Themes are a good idea as well. Never even thought about that.

I’ll really try the waking up early thing. Currently I wake up at like 12 or 1 p.m. and if that doesn’t make you feel awful about yourself I don’t know what will. Not that it isn’t justified by my habit of staying awake until 4 a.m. replying to blog comments.

And back about themes, I think a general theme I’m always chasing around is trying to make the world, and the people in it, a bit better. So maybe by doing the compliment thing I can improve myself and the lives of others? Small actions, big changes.


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