This is the week when people establish some unrealistic goals for the upcoming year.
Instead of going to Walmart, men and women will shove themselves into an unfamiliar gymnasium in hopes of building that perfect and fat-free body. Of course, they will do this after they watch all the bowl games and eat staggering amounts of nachos and cheese.
Some might not even know the way to the gym, because they have not been there in 13 years.
For those in the physical fitness industry, the week of Jan. 1 is their Black Friday.
Angie and I have been going to the gym now for several weeks and have established a routine. We made this commitment a few weeks ago, and not just today.
Along with the new year comes new hope.
And, aw! The dreaded New Year’s resolutions.
I have never made these over the years because they only remind me of the things I have not accomplished. It’s also been a fear of failure thing for me. I often make goals unreachable, so I choose not to fall into the trap and let myself down three months into the new year.
But this time, my New Year’s resolution is to actually make New Year’s resolutions.
The concept is for an individual to “resolve” to make changes in areas of their lifestyle or behavior in order to reach a milestone.
The tradition has an interesting history.
The Romans made promises to their god, Janus, after which January is named.
Knights in medieval times took the “peacock vow” at the end of the Christmas season and promised to demonstrate chivalry more. To me, the “peacock vow” sounds like a really cool party game. Catch the bird and place your hands on its back and make a vow to treat your wife better. Then tell your spouse to bake it on high and make a nice meal (JK.)
The Babylonians made commitments at the beginning of each year to get out of debt and return any objects they had borrowed.
Some of my friends would have been kicked out of the Babylonian club years ago, just saying.
For some, the onset of a new year is an opportunity to start over. It’s sort of like a life-mulligan. You don’t count the screw ups from the previous year, and you simply leave the errant shot or decisions in the weeds.
I always read and hear the same old promises:
* Lose weight
* Give more to charity
* Be more responsible
* Spend more time with family
* Learn a new language
Blah blah blah.
According to a study (there is one for everything), most lofty and well-intentioned resolutions last as long as my Toro Loco fajitas (gone in minutes.)
Eighty-eight percent of people fail in their bids to change the world or their waistline.
Instead of being more upbeat, they fall into the depression of reality once they give up on their promises to make good.
This is why my resolutions will be more realistic:
* Stop procrastinating: (my New Year’s resolution starting in 2020)
* Make my colonoscopy appointment: (See No. 1)
* Strike it rich: I will accomplish this by inventing a device similar to the “Find my Phone app” and call it the “Find my Glasses app” – even though I have 56 pairs scattered throughout the house.
* Listen to headphones while I work out: This will drown out the sound of me moaning in pain and hyperventilating.
* Compliment myself more: Which should lead to a raise.
* Break up with Little Debbie once and for all: She slithered back into my life during Christmas.
* Make sure I don’t leave Chapstick in my pants pocket when I toss them into the laundry. That will save me from buying a new wardrobe.
* Learn something new: I have no clue what that might be because I haven’t learned it yet.
* Keep my home office clutter free: I will accomplish this by moving it all into Angie’s home office. She’ll never notice.
* Overcome my fear of fear. If I can muster up the courage.
These are all goals I can accomplish if I put my mind to it. But I also examine the fact that I’m getting older and don’t have the patience to wait for these to come true (especially No. 2).
That’s why my only true resolution is to become better each day. I mess up daily, and I have to recognize the fact that I make mistakes. But I must learn from them to ensure they are not repeated.
Angie and I are grandparents now and have a grandson due in May. He and Sophie won’t care if I meet my silly personal obligations. But what will matter to them will be unconditional love, fun, laughs, and slime.
I promise to take them to the zoo and out for breakfast on Saturdays. I vow to spoil them rotten and send them back home hyped up.
But most of all, I hope to be a better grandfather than I was a Dad.
I want to instill in them how good God has been to me and Angie. I want to demonstrate His love for them every day. I have two wonderful sons and daughters-in-law and will support them in all areas. I want them to know the value of promises kept. If you give your word, then really that’s all you have to offer.
If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. (Numbers 30: 2)
What is your New Year’s resolution?
Happy New Year!
Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.
His first book — BUCKEYE BELIEVER - 40 Days of Devotions for The Ohio State Faithful —can be purchased on Amazon.