Column: Make your resolutions difficult
Published: Friday, January 18, 2013
Updated: Friday, January 18, 2013 22:01
As we enter the new year, most of us will write resolutions, and while others would encourage you to set reasonable resolutions that you can keep, I am here to exhort you to do the opposite. Set your resolutions high. Set goals that are unreasonable and impractical — goals that you have always wanted to accomplish but have been too afraid or too busy to carry out. Dig up your bucket list and resolve to scratch items off of it. If you don’t have a bucket list, resolve to make one, and if you have no clue what a bucket list is, resolve to see the movie “The Bucket List.” Make your resolutions lofty and almost unattainable so that even if you only do one of them, you will be much better off than if you reached all of your “reasonable goals.”
In all honesty, you will probably not even remember your resolutions once you write them down (if you even write them down). Besides, who keeps their resolutions anyway? The only time anyone ever talks about their New Year’s resolutions is at the end of one year and the beginning of another. While you might resolve to lose 15 pounds, you will probably never go to the gym more than twice. And while all your friends may say they are resolving to get straight As, your resolution to become a Sith apprentice will be much more interesting.
With my advice, the conversations you will have about New Year’s resolutions will be much more entertaining. Imagine telling your friends that you’ve resolved to sail the Caribbean Sea or go sky diving in the new year. Not only will their resolutions pale by comparison, but your friends will also be more likely to remember your resolution and goad you into keeping it. The pressure will be on. Everyone will expect you to keep your extraordinary resolutions and by the time Dec. 31 arrives this year, if you have only learned a few words of Farsi, you will still be better off than the people who cracked and started drinking soda again before February.
Now this isn’t to say that mundane resolutions aren’t useful or important, but you can start going to the gym anytime, and you probably should exercise regularly. But the road trip to the Grand Canyon that you have always wanted to take requires planning — planning that should start now. Even if you can only save a few dollars and plan the first leg of the trip by Dec. 31, you will be closer to that road trip than you are today.
In his book “A Mathematician ‘s Apology,” G.H. Hardy said, “A man’s first duty is to be ambitious. Ambition has been the driving force behind nearly all the best work of the world. In particular, practically all substantial contributions to human happiness have been made by ambitious men.”
So why not contribute to your own happiness and be ambitious? Save your mundane resolutions for daily life and set your ambitious ones today. Enjoy the opportunities that youth and university offer you, and make it your goal to take advantage of as many of them as you can.
This is my advice to you: do with it as you will. While you try to figure out your New Year’s resolutions, I’m going to start learning how to use a lightsaber.
Chad Landrum is a history senior and can be reached at
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