Culture

The Everyman: New Year’s Resolutions

What are your goals for 2015?

What are your goals for 2015?

Are New Year’s resolutions overrated?

This is what I asked myself a few weeks ago as I pondered what I would like to accomplish in 2015. I concluded that they’re not necessarily overrated, but they’re overused, abused and rarely followed to the point of completion.

Let’s examine the most popular resolution made in America: getting healthier. Often this means joining a gym and/or eating better quality meals. But what’s a resolution without a measurable goal?

A friend of mine made a good point when we discussed this last week: you need to make your resolution more concise than simply losing weight, for example. How much weight? Do you want to gain muscle and maybe run a 5K? Putting an actual weight number and circling a race date on your calendar are much more effective.

I couldn’t believe the amount of cars in the parking lot of my gym last Saturday afternoon. But when I thought more about it, the surprise was gone. I joked with a few people that the number of gym-goers will shrink back to pre-holiday levels in another month. Sad but true.

Do you want to become a better and faster runner in 2015? Tweak your resolution to say, “I want to shave 5 minutes off my half marathon PR by the fall.”

Are you looking to eat less junk food? Start by throwing away all the junk food in your pantry and then shop in the outer sections of the grocery store. There’s not much junk food there.

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If you have a career goal to make more money in 2015, be realistic and write down a number that you can strive for. Then work as hard as you can and impress your boss. If the number isn’t tangible in your current work situation, think about making a job change.

But here’s the thing: these are all great ideas and it’s wonderful that Americans want to better themselves, but why do we need the ball to drop in Times Square in order to set these goals? Why can’t we come up with these ideas on our own?

New Year’s is like Valentine’s day: men everywhere feel like they have to buy their wife or girlfriend flowers, take her out to dinner and say I love you on Feb. 14. But why not do those things all the time?

As for me, I have a few resolutions—and I won’t share them here. But here’s a hint at two of them: I’ve been spending more time running and lifting weights.

Hopefully I won’t burn out in a month.

What’s your New Year’s resolution? Tweet me @jason_devaney1.