It’s a new year, a new start etc etc blah de blah de blah. Personally I’m never too enthralled by the prospect of a new year, I see it as merely an arbitrary division of time which everybody goes nuts over, a bit like throwing a party because it’s the 14th of March – enjoyable I’m sure but some take it a little too seriously. 2011 is slightly different however as I’m very much looking forward to this year. After all, in my book, getting run over on January 1st of 2011 would still not make it worse than 2010. And for those sceptics among you, yes – I hated 2010 that much.
All that aside – it is now time for yet another arbitrary practice: the new year’s Resolution. For most of us, this involves staving off chocolate until we simply can’t take it any more (round about Jan 3rd), feeling guilty for the rest of the week while we continue to nomnomnom on the chocolaty goodness and then by about the 10th we’ve forgotten that there ever was such a thing as the Resolution.
Sure, some of us do a little better, perhaps we hold onto that diet until February or maybe even March or April. But by then the weight is gone and bacon beckons. We have suffered enough, let’s drop this ridiculous charade and chow down on cake.
Though not all Resolutions are food based. Some of us attempt to give up things such as smoking and again, the success of this venture all depends upon how much you care about your lungs and also your level of optimism (I’m only 24, so I’ve at least four more years of smoking before I need to worry about contracting anything) Keep going people, I’m sure that’s how it works.
Yet how many of you can claim you have a new year’s resolution which you have managed to hold to for all 365 or even 366 days? (Though Feb 29th is a universally recognised day off so we won’t judge) I’m going to guess that it’s relatively few of you.
I however, can claim this accolade. I kept my Resolution of 2010 with no difficulty whatsoever. "But Andy" I hear you cry "what strength of character you must have!" Why thank you darling, I do my best. However the trick to the keeping of the Resolution was not in the immense strength of character, nor in my unending stores of humility and grace (though these did indeed help) but in the nature of the Resolution.
My Resolution of 2010 was simple: I hereby resolve to never refuse carrot cake.
This meant that every time I kept my resolution, I was rewarded with cake. That’s called positive reinforcement and a certain Mr Pavlov trained his dogs in this manner. But not with cake. It meant that I enjoyed keeping my resolution even when I discovered the mythical object that was Bad Carrot Cake (It’s all about the icing. Too much and it just swamps the cake and overpowers the enjoyment – sad but true.) This was a brilliant resolution – I got to eat cake and not avoid it. Epic win.
So this year I resolve to: a) Keep my 2010 resolution and b) never to refuse a hug.
Awwww innit sweet.
I could have resolved to learn the piano to be this good but then I think I would have become depressed at my ineptitude.