It is the eve of the new year, and even though the divisioning is arbitrary, as I found out from working for the Yankee army and discovering how the ‘real’ year, the fiscal one, works, it is as useful as anything for giving some thought to the past.
I should comment that I am not particularly enamored of new year’s resolutions. They suffer from too many weaknesses, the concentration being chief among them. Simply put, examining one’s life/behavior/temperament/… is not something that should be reserved for this segment or region of the year. Retrospection AND analysis do not occur in combination too frequently, and except for bogs mindfogged into thinking otherwise by ‘fashion’, not without great happenstance and effort. It is possible to summon these faculties but only after great training, practice, and effort. So it is not something one can just sit down on new year first day and muddle about with a pad and pencil, or their boggish electronic ersatz, the iPad.
Now since there are a few idiots savant who can summon these faculties on demand, we can treat the whole thing as being pseudo-stochastic and advance that there is a probability of being able on a single day of reviewing one’s existence, analyzing it in detail, compounding plans for resolving undesirable traits or conditions, and implementing those plans sine die. That probability is O(0).
I should also comment that having succeeded in the retrospection, the analysis, and the resolution formation, there is the matter of having too many things listed to ever get even one of them done because of divided concentration. Since this is the season of bowl games, it has the effect of carrying the football to the one yard line and then fumbling. Completely. Consistently. Persistently.
So a better approach is to wait for retrospection and analysis to emerge and then use that emergence, whenever and wherever it may occur to good benefit. And shape as few resolutions as is practicable – preferably one. And acting on those few (one preferably) in as resolute and dedicated a fashion as possible.
Then resolutions make sense.
Sadly, they may not be understood. Our friends, especially the boggish ones, think this is a period specific activity, rather like Black Velvet, and so cannot conceive of anyone doing such any other time. And knowing, in some herd mentality sense, that resolutions are almost never fulfilled, will interpret such success as evidence of mental and/or physical aberration.
Now if they run away in terror, so much the better, but if they decide you are incapacitated, they will make life difficult.
Which has the benefit of leading to more retrospection and analysis, mostly about how to pick friends.
As for myself, I have no resolutions at the moment and do not expect to have any except possibly figuring out how to hide from family next winter solstice season.