The world is going to end in a year, so why bother making New Year’s resolutions?  More importantly, why use it as the kick-off for any goals?  A year is 365 days, nothing we do is measured by that number, and we Americans use the most complicated form of measuring on earth because we’re too stubborn to convert to metric!

Our own government has a list of popular New Year’s resolutions right on their official website! What’s not there is how quickly you will fail at them.  This isn’t for lack of trying though, it’s just set in our brain that we need to start on a specific time and reach a completed goal to feel successful.  The problem is, there is no metric, or systematic way of measuring most of these goals.  Just to go through some of the list our government has put forth will open your eyes and realize it’s a stupid idea to make a resolution for the New Year, make a life change instead and start now.

Drink less alcohol.  Great, I think as a culture we drink too much as it is.  How much did you drink last year?  Oh, you don’t know?  Well then you have zero clue if you’re successful for 2012 unless you stop altogether.

Eat healthier food.  I like this one, but sadly the food education is a cluster that deserves it’s own article, hell it’s own chapter.  There’s good fat, bad fat, good calories, bad calories, sugar is good, sugar is bad, eat more fruits and vegetables but don’t eat too much fruit because it’s too high in sugar and don’t eat too many potatoes because they are high in carbs and carbs are bad unless you’re an athlete and you need to carb load and drink lots of water but not eight glasses a day.  The amount of misinformation out there is rather scary, the number of restaurants that prepare sub-par food as a whole is appalling and the fact alone that Amazon has more than 50,000 cookbooks for sale should indicate that we really don’t know what the hell is good, tasty and healthy.

Lose weight.  I’ve struggled with this, going on a serious yo-yo diet over the last 5 years.  The goal should never be to lose weight but rather be fit and active, forever!  A P90x program will put you in great shape if you are true to yourself and complete it, but what happens after 90 days and you’ve met your fictitious goal weight or strength training?  There’s no excitement in doing it again because it’s not new and you know you can complete it.

Reduce, Reuse & Recycle.  Again another really great resolution, why aren’t you doing that now?  Or rather, two days ago when you bought and wrapped all your presents just so you could throw all that paper and ribbon away? Is it that hard for you to separate those items that have a recycle logo on them from ones that do not?  Do it now!

Manage stress.  I really don’t understand this resolution or why people try to commit to it.  Stress for most people I know comes from work, money and family / relationships.  It’s safe to say that what is stressful in your life on December 31st will more than likely be stressful for you on January 1st too.

My goal isn’t to crush any grand illusion you may have for the resolution you have next week, rather to ask yourself why it’s not starting today?  Why must we as a culture treat resolutions like a 12-step program in that we get rewarded along the way?  Should we hand out coins at 30 days of proper recycling?  Hit the all you can eat buffet after you lose the weight you wanted to as a celebratory gift for ourselves?  Eat something decadent and bad for us because we went 45 days of eating healthy food? Order two pitchers and line up the shots because it’s been three months since our last drink?

Be honest with yourself,realize that it’s silly to start a resolution simply because it’s the start of a new month and a new year, when you could make changes now and stay moving in that positive direction for the rest of your life.