A lot has been written and read about New Year’s resolutions already, particularly this year when there is pretty much nothing else to DO. So I hesitated whether to pile on with an article of my own. However, since the first resolution I have made this year is to write an article every week and release it to the world, I feel like this is justified. Plus, given the amount of things written and released these days that appear to have been written with a “write it like no one will ever read it” mentality, well, let’s just say I’m confident this won’t be the worst thing that people don’t read.
First things first, let’s acknowledge that everyone’s first resolution this year should be to NEVER use the term “unprecedented” again. We get it. Last year was like no other in our lifetimes. We never, ever want to experience a year like it again. And one of the important ways we can start distancing ourselves from it is to never use that term again. If something happens that has never happened before, let’s just say, “wow! This is New!” and move on. If someone uses that other term, give them a wedgie. Seriously. They deserve it.
Second things second: don’t aim too high. Everyone should hope this year is “better” than last year, because frankly, if it isn’t, I’m not sure we’re going to have the opportunity to make resolutions for 2022. But to think that everything is going to suddenly be better and that you are going to “pick up where you left off before the pandemic hit” is unrealistic. And out of your control. Remember a resolution is simply a promise to yourself (I didn’t actually remember that myself until my 6 year old asked me to explain what a resolution was) So make your goals ambitious but not out of the realm of reason. For example, I’d like to become a better skater this year and spend a good chunk of time on the ice with my young daughters. But I think “making the NHL” is a little too much. Unless I hear of a team looking for a 49 year old “stay at home defenseman”, whereby while the team plays, I stay at home. I would excel at that. And gladly accept the league minimum salary of $700,000 U.S.
It’s important to note that me working on my skating ability, while not world-changing, will help not only myself and my daughters, but anyone in the general area skating around me. Especially if this is the year I finally learn how to stop! Plus it is a specific activity leading towards my (and everyone else’s) New Year’s resolution to “get in better shape”. Imagine if everyone who set out to do this actually DID it? All of us actually shed unhealthy weight, built a little muscle, got stronger in body AND mind? Every little bit would take pressure off of our healthcare system. And if there is one industry that deserves to have the pressure taken off them right now, it’s professional comedians performing to their personal computers while indifferent audience members walk around their homes in various states of undress. But healthcare workers are a strong second!
Most of all, this year’s New Year’s resolutions should involve actually helping other people out. You don’t have to be a parent to be an inspiration to kids. And you don’t have to be inspirational to be helpful. Everyone who is following guidelines, wearing masks and staying home right now is helpful. Everyone who isn’t…is an arsehole. So a perfectly acceptable New Year’s Resolution for this year is: “Don’t Be An Arsehole”. Which really doesn’t take much. It just involves staying away from others and not breathing on each other while scientists and those aforementioned hero healthcare workers work to save all of us. Including the ones who aren’t taking the necessary precautions, who seem to be, lately, Canadian politicians. It’s important to remember that just because there are a lot of arseholes in the world doesn’t mean YOU have to be one of them. We’re still in the middle of a global pandemic. We’re still in early stages of getting vaccine out that, while we are all hopeful and optimistic, doesn’t mean we can suddenly start running around licking each other… yet. (Hopefully by summertime though. That’s prime licking time anyway.)
Hence, my New Year’s Resolutions for 2021 are:
In fairness, number 4 should probably be number 1, underlying everything else. Which brings up resolution #5: Forgive yourself when you stumble and start over again.
As I write this we’re only a couple days into 2021 and I’m sure many people have already reneged on their New Year’s resolutions and are beating themselves up over it. Stop. Just stop right now. Especially if you were being an arsehole. STOP THAT RIGHT NOW.
The first Monday of a new year is always a good new starting point. And if you screw up again after that, remember that Chinese New Year this year isn’t until February 12. You can start over again then. Even if you’re not Chinese.
This year really is unprec…. Sorry, “wow! This is New!” So if we all strive to be a little bit better, well, we’ve got a much better chance at confidently being able to lick each other again relatively soon.
Good talk. And good luck this year!