New Year Resolutions 
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The Joyce Method

In November and December you take a hard look at yourself. You’ve gained weight; you’re drinking too much; you haven’t exercised for months (your favourite chair is permanently moulded to the shape of your expanding rear end); you forgot to call your mother again this weekend. Add your own sins to this list.

It is hard to live with all the guilt. That’s why we have New Year’s resolutions. Before New Year you can pat your wayward self on the back and say, “Come January first I’ll stop smoking, go on a diet, clean out the garage, quit yelling at the kids, etc.”

In your vivid imagination it is a fait accompli or a done deal, as they say in the U.S. You will start on January One … promise.

Nae bother at a’. Now you can hunker down in your easy chair, light a fag, ask the wife while she’s up to get you a cold one, and break open a packet of crisps, confident that you will work off these extra calories in a few weeks. Och aye! That feels great.

To feel better yet, you could write up your list of resolutions, type it, or put it into your computer. While ye’re at it, why not prioritize and alphabetize it? There ye go.

Jings! Getting to the fridge for a glass of orange juice is about all you can handle without triggering the groaning pain in yer heid. Gie’s a brek!

In the fervour of creating your resolutions you should’ve agreed with yourself to begin mending your ways January second. Maybe you can just give up the ciggies for a couple of days without blowing a gasket. That would be a start.

But get halfway into January and the bills start coming in, the weather is brutal, and the party’s over. What happens then?

The small voice whispers “Och, one wee puff isnae goin’ tae hurt ye.”

Or “It’s gie cold tae walk today. Do it tomorrow.”

I can hear you. But failure isn’t an option.

Maybe you’ve been lucky and lost your list of resolutions or your computer developed a glitch. Your resolves have evaporated into cyberspace.

Postponement is, of course, one choice. After all, the refrigerator is still full of treats. What a waste to throw out the leftover turkey dressing or the apple pie your non-smoking teetotal sister-in-law with the perfect figure contributed to the party. January is a bad month to put yourself under additional stress, what with the bills coming in and fuel just went up.

It’s cold, the nights are long. You could put it off till February or at least till after the Burns’ supper.

Negotiation is another alternative. You could modify your list.

Yes. Great idea. How about a modified list?

You’ll “cut down” on smoking.

You’ll just walk down to the corner. A good start.

You’ll sign up for the gym when they offer that special.

The possibilities are endless.

But (and here is the escape clause) … why bother with all that work and effort!

This year I resolved NOT to make any resolutions.

It’s February. So far it’s workin’ smashin’.


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