Yearly resolutions go up in smoke

Welcome to My World, a place much like your own. I am a junior here at the University and feel the need to sound off on some of the things that I think are important. Some of the things that I will be talking about will be humorous and random, while others will be rather serious.

At any rate, buck up and hold on tight, it’s going to be a fun ride.

A few weeks ago, the ball dropped on Times Square and Y2K went Y2Buh-bye. Another year older, another year wiser (possibly) and time for those pesky New Year’s resolutions.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about out with the old and in with the new, yada, yada, yada. But get real…think about when and why those resolutions are made and really, when was the last time any of you stuck to and accomplished your goal?

Last year, as we said goodbye to the twentieth century, I swore off cigarettes for good. I meant it that time. I really did.

I thought, ‘Hey, new millennium… let’s do it smoke free.’ It all sounded good in theory, but I neglected to take into account that I had the willpower of a sloth.

As the clock struck midnight, we all raised our glasses in a toast (or at least tried; my depth perception was a bit off due to the pre-midnight bottle of Asti I had already drank) and rang in the new year with a bang. After all of the pomp and circumstance had subsided, someone suggested we go outside and have a cigarette.

I said yes immediately, my rationale being that it was still 1999 in California and that was good enough.

So I had a smoke.

Actually I had two, figuring that this would be the last time I would have a cigarette, so I might as well enjoy it. But from then on, I swore as I shivered that crisp January morn, there would be no more toxic puffing for me.

As the first day of 2000 dawned cool and clear, what I remembered from the previous night’s festivities wasn’t much. I did remember my resolution, later, as the fog lifted in my head and I chuckled as I lit up a Marlboro.

My resolution was nothing more than a futile chance at change, and only something I could seriously fathom after a few drinks. It was January first and my life-altering change had been abandoned after 15 hours and 39 minutes.

But, alas, I’m not alone in my plight and smoking isn’t the only resolution that is made to be broken.

Health clubs such as Bally’s and Hard Body report a substantial increase in memberships in the early part of January. And, for the first three weeks of each year, they are usually filled to capacity during peak hours. After that, attendance drops and people return to their lethargic and unmotivated homeostasis.

Similarly, weight loss centers such as Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers prey on the pseudo-motivation generated by the New Years with such ad campaigns as ‘New Year, New You!’ I see it more like ‘New Year, Same Old Fat, Frumpy, Unmotivated You!’

Like every good fairy tale, this story comes with a moral.

New Year’s Resolutions are a self-appeasement. They are something designed to help us make a half-hearted attempt at change.

Society has somehow brainwashed us into thinking that we have to wave a magic wand and reinvent ourselves sometime between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. These resolutions are aimed at people with negative willpower (such as myself) to give them something to make a valiant effort to uphold.

Does this work? Puhleeese.

The paradox of the whole resolutions issue is that the same person that makes them is also the person in charge of enforcing them. Unfortunately, this system rarely works and since no Resolution Enforcement Squad exists, most of them get left behind in the dust before all of the confetti has been vacuumed up. Maybe I’m a pessimist, but in this case, the glass is really half empty.

So, when the Cosmic Odometer turns over once again, I will make one resolution:

Never to make a New Year’s resolution again.

They are counterproductive and only breed guilt for not upholding them. I say this as I’m lighting up a cigarette while putting this column to bed and somewhere out there, a woman just came home from a Jenny Craig meeting that she’s never going back to.

Trust me.