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Don’t Make Hulk Wanna Smash The Internet

She-Hulk by kazamatsuro - Photo via Creative Commons

I hate New Year’s resolutions. Especially the part where the internet is flooded with copycat articles full of tips, tricks, top-ten lists, and celebrity declarations. The changing of the calendar doesn’t make the date special, and broadcasting their intent doesn’t necessarily help people achieve personal goals. Every year at this time, I compulsively dodge those posts and articles and vlogs because exposure to New Year’s resolutions tends to cause an Incredible Hulk-like transformation in me. And I don’t really want to be the person who leaves a path of ALL-CAPS destruction in the comments of every other new post on the internet during most of January.

There’s probably no hope of reversing the resolution trend, especially not with the entire weight of the weight-loss industry backing what I snarkily refer to as the season of shrinky self-destruction. However, resistance is not futile. This year, I’m encouraging people to break with the tradition, and if they won’t, to at least consider alternatives to the set of boring, doomed cure-alls that most people resolve to pursue.

Many of the common New Year’s resolutions focus on accomplishing more, acquiring more stuff, and doing everything faster. Those are exhausting, largely foolhardy endeavors, especially for anyone trying to become a healthier and happier person. For a fun, easy change of pace, try doing less, getting rid of stuff, and slowing down. That last one is the best, I think. Just imagine how much stress we could ditch simply by taking our time. Resolving to slow down will probably improve the quality – if not the quantity – of our work and our relationships, two goals that may not be on everyone’s list, but probably should be.

If oppositional resolutions aren’t your cuppa, but you can’t resist the impulse to make resolutions altogether, try just sticking with the good things you already do. And if you must share your resolutions with the world, the least you can do is resolve to work on something more important to the world than your weight. 2012 is the International Year of Cooperatives and the International Year of Sustainable Energy For All. If those causes don’t motivate you, try browsing the Project For Awesome for a charity that does, then put your back into supporting it. It’s probably as good for your heart as going to the gym, albeit in a different way, and selfless deeds are far more interesting for others to read about on your blog.

People who are happy in their New Year’s resolution ruts? I beg you, please, to attend the science about habit formation and will power’s limitations. Confine your resolutions to small, specific actions you can easily add to your existing routine. This should improve your likelihood of success, and hopefully diminish the flood of woeful posts about failed New Year’s resolutions that also make Hulk wanna smash the internet.

6 Comments
KayM

January 15, 2012 1:22 pm Reply

A sensible, passionate post, Kay! What a public service to analyze and vocalize these roadblocks so many face New Years after New Years. AND you refrained from obliterating the ‘net; thanks!

    Kay
    Kay

    January 17, 2012 10:58 am Reply

    Thank you!

Kurt

January 16, 2012 9:16 am Reply

Here’s a nice, seemingly simple resolution that I think you might approve of Kay: I resolve to take at least one day a month to lock my blackberry in a drawer, turn off my computer and XBox, and generally just unplug. It’s the disconnect to reconnect resolution. It basically means that for at least 12 days this year, I’m slowing down, and stopping to smell the roses.

Take THAT weight-loss industry!

    Kay
    Kay

    January 17, 2012 11:00 am Reply

    I like that resolution. Twelve days unplugged adds up to a vacation, if you think about it. And I am firmly in favor of vacations.

Sabrina

January 16, 2012 10:48 am Reply

My sentiments exactly. ;-)

    Kay
    Kay

    January 17, 2012 11:04 am Reply

    I am not surprised, my friend. Not a bit.

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