Remember The Book of Lists?
Page after page of the strangest lists, such as a list of the number of contaminants — including insect parts — allowed in a bottle of commercial spaghetti sauce. (Hint: It’s not zero).
People love lists, and that is never more evident than around New Year’s Day, when we start to see list after list: Top 10 concerts of 2017; Top 10 movies; Top 10 top 10 lists; Top 10 stories.
But topping the list this time of year has to be the combination with another favourite seasonal activity: the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions. It’s hard to imagine a worse time of the year to make a resolution, when the focus is on partying and having a good time, not necessarily rational thought.
It’s not surprising that New Year’s resolutions are dominated every year by those that fall into the health and wellness category. Losing weight, exercising more and even quitting smoking are regular targets, probably because people are making these decisions while indulging all their bad habits during the holidays.
‘If I make a New Year’s resolution to eat better, then there’s no reason I shouldn’t have another of those chocolate peanut butter ball treats now…’
Lifestyle changes is another big category: spend more time with friends and family; learn something new; or get organized — incidentally, a key factor in making any resolution work.
On the surface, this annual grab at the brass ring of self-improvement appears inward-directed, perhaps even indulgent. After all, we don’t resolve to change the behaviour of others.
But by improving our own health, our own time management, our own approach to societal interaction, we impact those around us. It may be in a direct way; say, becoming more productive at work. Or more indirectly, through committing to joining a service club or other organization.
Regrettably, the statistics on people carrying through on New Year’s resolutions are a little sad. Only about 12 per cent ever make it to their goal.
That’s no reason not to try. By the time we’ve reached the point of taking action on self-improvement, the need has obviously been identified for some time.
Though we all know how unlikely we are to follow through on our resolutions, we keep making them, hoping to shape a better life and a better world. And maybe that’s what it’s really all about: hope.
That’s a goal worth striving for year-round.
— Parksville Qualicum Beach News