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31 December 2007

Resolutely Irresolute

Actually, the title of this post is somewhat of a misnomer: although I never make New Year's resolutions any more, this is because I am constantly resolute rather than the opposite. One of the joys of keeping a diary as a kid and teenager is looking back at the NYRs I used to make. When I was nine, they tended to be unrealistic ("I will publish a book this year") and when I was older, they tended to be copycat NYRs ("I will lose 5 kilos this year, and so will my friends!"; thanks, school, for putting competitive non-eating on the curriculum).

NYRs tend to fall into three categories:

1. Things I wish to stop doing.
2. Things I wish to continue doing.
3. Things I wish to start doing.

The motivation behind them all, though, should be the same: you want to make this change (or non-change in the case of #2) because it will make you happier, because it will make someone else happier (still, ultimately, selfish, sez the cynic, as this will in turn make you feel better about yourself) or because it will improve your life in some other way (and may make you happier in the long term, even if it makes you miserable in the short term (giving up coffee is not a good example here)).

The thing is, though, that if I want something enough, I don't need to inscribe an NYR in my diary (if I still had one) or blog to make myself do it. If the motivation is there (albeit a kind of long-term motivation) then I will just make the change and writing it down on a piece of paper isn't going to make the slightest bit of difference: if I want it enough, I will do it; if I don't want it enough, it probably won't happen.

Of course, there is the old "if you tell someone else your NYRs, they can motivate and encourage you to persevere." I think I was always too embarrassed to tell other people my NYRs - too embarrassed and too proud to admit that I wasn't perfect. If I was making the change because of what other people thought of me, then their perception of me would be enough and I wouldn't want them to know that I was consciously changing myself because of their opinion.

So, I won't be resolving to stop biting my nails, as my mother would wish, because I'm simply not fussed enough to want to stop. As for the rest of the things I want to change, well, I'm already doing everything I can, so there's simply no need to NYRise them.

This post reflects a particularly arrogant light upon me; hopefully, the rest of this blog will put any beliefs in this to rest - I think there's plenty of self-mockery and light-hearted self-deprecation to spare.

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