Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014 09:04 am est

New Year’s resolutions are pointless

Posted on December 11, 2012 | by Chris DiNardo

Live BlogWhen the Huxleyan soma-holiday of 2012’s glorious recollection slips away into oblivion at the drop of a silver ball and a drunken chorus of “Auld Lang Syne,” 2013 New Year’s resolutions will officially be underway. And so long as the Mayan

buy viagra

s didn’t have very attuned powers of revelation, it will be a time of year that will nonetheless prove disappointing for many.

This year, millions will make New Year’s resolutions in the name of self-improvement — and millions will fail. This has led many to deem them completely pointless. But, to be fair, New Year’s resolutions do have a point, and that point is to seep any and all pride and optimism you have from within and turn you into an uptight, dejected human being for breaking a carefully crafted promise you made to yourself. Bah humbug.

Many may desire to lose a few pounds, quit a bad habit or improve their standard of living at work or at home. But a couple weeks into their pact, countless resolution-setters slack. And when that Stairmaster starts to look more like an M.C. Escher drawing by the end of January, it’s check-out time and the 11-month wait kicks in until next year’s façade of self-improvement commences. But if the resolutions can be so easily abandoned, how much do they really mean?

Setting personal goals is no doubt a worthwhile endeavor. But it should be done for the betterment of self, not because it’s trendy this time of year or because every self-help columnist with a six-inch soapbox is writing the next “Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for 2013.” When they are made for haphazard reasons simply for the sake of making them, you can’t sincerely expect the result to come to fruition and disappointment will inevitably ensues.

Wouldn’t it be easier to simply stick to a script to which you were deeply devoted? Yes, but this other side of the coin presents just as wary a case for engaging in the annual Olympics of personal quantum leaps. Because if you were deeply devoted to your resolution, whether it is for the sake of health of others or just for the hell of it, why must you do it in accordance with an arbitrary timeline? If you’re going to stand on a desk and shout “Carpe diem,” why force yourself to wait until Jan. 1 to start?

It’s easy to be the pessimistic prognosticator when you don’t make New Year’s resolutions yourself. But a simple wholesale effort to be a better person is good enough for me. It’s what we should aim for every day. And it is part of a comprehensive effort that strays from irrational reasons and doesn’t require some capricious start time.

So, when yoga mats begin to collect dust again and you dig through the freezer for that chocolate ice cream, remember that it’s not the end of the world. Many are extensive ambitions, which, in the grand scheme of things, are not worth the trouble. There is no need to make yourself feel worse off if you aren’t truly committed to such commonly formed goals.

So this holiday season, make that list, check it twice, then crumple it up and throw it away. That’s the perfect New Year’s resolution.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Dec. 11 print edition. Chris DiNardo is opinion editor. Email him at cdinardo@nyunews.com.

Comments

CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
Tatiana Baez

Assistant Managing Editor | A CAS junior, Tatiana is studying journalism, environmental science and politics. She’s a bomb editor, as well as the staff’s main source of entertainment because she sings along to every song after 12 a.m. She also writes about culture, science, technology and sex, and her work has been featured in VICE, Motherboard, Elite Daily, amNewYork and others. She enjoys eating Thai food, reading fiction and binge-watching Netflix.

And in case you were wondering how great she really is — “I just can’t get enough of Tatiana” is a direct quote from her EIC at WSN only moments ago.

AS
Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.

 

DY
Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

CLOSE [x]
  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    NEWS FEATURES MULTIMEDIA SPORTS ARTS OPINION
    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.

    Next