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New Year bolsters my resolve to avoid resolutions

Updated: 2022-01-07 09:53 ( China Daily )
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And so a new year has arrived, a sequel to 2021 bearing the moniker 2022, apparently. This time of the year, every year, almost everyone is deciding what they don't like about themselves and how they can "be a better person". Regular New Year's resolution chart toppers include quitting smoking and drinking, exercising more, taking up a new hobby and, of course, world peace.

And yet, with each descending year terminally spiraling into the black hole of time, we fail to achieve these resolutions and so perpetually propel our collective self-loathing toward the dustbin of entropy. I'm told. Sorry, that was a bit of a downer. Cheer up!

For 2022, I've decided upon a resolution of my own. That is, I'm not going to do New Year's resolutions anymore. These arbitrary time-based pronouncements are completely meaningless, mere statements to the wind.

More often than not, New Year's resolutions revolve around activities you find pleasurable, but feel a bit guilty about. These little vices-eating junk food, stealing office stationery etc.-are often the things that breathe life into the otherwise dreary day. On a personal note, for balance, I'm not a junk food enthusiast, nor am I one of those taking part in "Veganuary".

And that's another thing. Who are these people that proclaim token time-based "events, goals, challenges" based on a month/activity rhyming system? Surely, if you want to be vegan, be one all year round, your body will thank you, not least for the consistency. Yes, I'm aware that these quirky monthlong campaigns are often to promote awareness of worthy causes, such as "Movember" highlighting men's health issues.

I suppose, as someone who only has a loose affiliation with any form of tradition, I don't like getting whipped up into these mass campaigns, movements, causes or traditions old and new. Like an emotionless robot, aware that it may or may not be self-aware, I like to walk my own path. I don't need a New Year's resolution to remind me to be good or to be a better robot, sorry, person.

New Year's resolutions have the same effectiveness and worth as those motivational slogans certain people post on social media to tell other people they are "working hard" at whatever it is they're doing. Nine times out of 10 it's "getting ripped at the gym". And that's totally fine. It's just papier mache internet pulp that makes my eyes bleed and brain liquefy. I've been asked why I don't use social media, and I always answer because it is full of political poison and trolls-but the real reason is, I just can't take those cookie-cut motivational posters, and their posters.

My mantra is to try to be better in every aspect, every day. And so, I live a life of constant disappointment. But on the flip side, I also live a life of constant hope.

And for those of you who have made New Year's resolutions, and who may have already let themselves down by eating a whole tray of leftover Christmas chocolates while no one was looking, don't fear, Chinese New Year is just around the corner, you can make up some new resolutions to break then.

Owen Fishwick
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