Don’t Be Cynical About New Year’s Resolutions

Danielsradam
4 min readJan 1, 2023

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I used to be cynical about new year’s resolutions. Like many, I would roll my eyes at all the newcomers in the gym and the hordes of online resolutions of strangers that were cliche and trite. But last year I choose to leave behind my cynicism and write a new year’s resolution. The resolution was to modify my reading habits so I could overcome my reading addiction. It worked.

Today I read my old journal entries and medium post on my 2022 resolutions. It’s important to see where you were and how far you’ve come. If you don’t write down some specific resolutions you may be missing out on a good opportunity for self-reflection based on concrete data. Because of my resolutions I was able to overcome my addiction to reading. Now when I read I read slowly, with patience, with a desire to learn, with humility, and with no temptation to consume more than I can handle.

I ended up reading Kant. I was glad I did as it helped lay to rest my fantasies about philosophy. Now I am discarding most of my physical books I have read. I am only keeping the ones that are most precious or worthy of being reread or used as reference. Everything else must go and I am now down to less than 60 physical books. I have been reading them so I will have less books to pack the next time I move, which is most likely in 7 months.

What’s weird is that I don’t feel good, or happy, that I achieved my resolutions, but what I will say is I acknowledge they were helpful. The New Year’s Resolution has been reborn. I now see it again in a positive way, because once Christmas is over the world can feel dark and bleak again. I am grateful for the new year turning over a week after Christmas, it puts a new pep in one’s stride, or should, anyway.

What am I going to be up to this year?

  1. Finish learning to code. I began to take programming seriously in October, but then I came down with a month-long illness that threw me off track in December. It’s time to get back on the horse and finish what I started.
  2. Take care of the body. I am going to commit to my 100% nutrition plan and an exercise plan that is pure bodyweight exercise but follows the philosophy of lowering (lengthening the muscle for muscle growth, not contracting). I will write a post on what Lowering is (opposite of Lifting) once I have been doing it for a few months. I am at the age now where if I don’t start taking care of my body in earnest it will begin to fall apart. The inertia of youth is waning.
  3. Be thorough. After going through some old childhood junk I picked up from my parents’ home, when they moved, I fell in love with the idea of thoroughness. A major weakness of mine has been to not be thorough and this year I want to work on being more thorough in everything I do. I want to learn about thoroughness, to develop a philosophy about it. This is because I realized, when looking through my old drawings, schoolwork, diaries from childhood, I was never thorough. I never took my learning to the next level. I “winged it” or “flew by the seat of my pants” far too often. As a result I lacked finishing skills. This year I wish to develop past that.
  4. Not beat myself up for being irrational. In much of our lives we are striving to act rationally and get angry when we don’t. Why can’t we stop eating ice cream at night? Why can’t we get up off the couch to do some pushups every now and then? Why can’t we enjoy work? Why can’t we be consistent? I’ve heard it said that we are rationalizing beings and I don’t disagree with that, but why do we rationalize? It is because we are irrational. We are capable of holding irrational beliefs. We can believe in things that were concluded illogically. We can be swayed by logical fallacies. I wish to discover this year how one can thrive while knowing they are mostly irrational. The first step in this is to stop getting angry at myself when I act or think irrationally.

And there we have it. At the end of this year I can look back on this post and see how far I’ve come on each issue. For the first time in a long time I am excited about this, I am looking forward to a year of growth and change and I hope I can accurately capture my change and publish it here on Medium. What keeps me publishing on Medium is my desire to actually change and help myself, to figure it out, because I have not been able to follow anyone else’s ideas and have them work for me. I feel like I am on my own when it comes to bettering myself, and you may be too, I can only hope when I get better I can somehow translate it so you can grow or take my ideas and make versions of them for yourself. Have a great new year and make those resolutions, don’t be cynical.

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Danielsradam

It's time to take writing seriously. Change happens when it's forced.