Rest In Peace, New Year’s resolutions

By Melvin Durai

It’s that time of the year again.

Yes, it’s time to do what you always do at this time: write
an obituary for your New Year’s resolutions.

First, let me offer my condolences. I’m truly sorry for
your loss. I can only imagine what sadness you must be
feeling, having to go through almost an entire year as the
“same old you.”

The “new you” was going to be better. The “new you” was
going to wake up at 5 each morning and do 30 minutes of
jogging, 30 minutes of yoga and 30 minutes of meditation.
The “old you” wakes up at 7 a.m. and does 30 minutes of
eating, 30 minutes of driving and 30 minutes of complaining.

The “new you” was going to read 100 pages of fiction every
day. The “old you” reads fiction only now and then,
whenever Donald Trump decides to tweet.

The “new you” was going to focus on important goals. The
“old you” focuses on too many goals, switching excitedly
from one goal to another, unable to decide which one is
the “Goal of the Year” in the English Premier League.

While it may be disappointing that the “new you” hasn’t
quite materialized yet, it’s important to realize that
the “old you” isn’t all that bad. You are happy with many
of the things that the “old you” gives you, whether it’s
more sleep, more food, or more opportunities to visit the
mall in search of bigger clothes.

But if you really want to leave the “old you” behind, here
are three tips to help you:

1. Don’t wait until the beginning of a year to make changes
in your life. You can do it at any time, as long as you
convince yourself that it’s a good time for a new start.
You could do it on your birthday, on the first of the
month, or even when you get a haircut. Every morning is an
opportunity to pursue a better you; every night is a chance
to say, “Darn it, I’ll try again tomorrow!”

2. Don’t aim high ”“ aim low. Aiming high is how most people
fail. Some of them have never exercised in their lives, yet
they somehow convince themselves that they’re going to run
for an hour a day, beginning on January 1. This usually
results in a long line at the doctor’s office on January 2.

First patient: “Ouch, my foot!”

Second patient: “Ouch, my back!”

Third patient: “Ouch, my wallet!”

Trust me, you are better off running for 10 minutes a day
consistently than aiming for something longer and wishing
you had Obamacare. But here’s what usually happens to people:
they aren’t satisfied with 10 minutes, so they try 20
minutes, then 30, then 40. Before long, their body resists
this big change, perhaps through a muscle strain or illness,
and they go from 40 minutes of exercise all the way down to
five minutes of excuses.

3. Don’t give up. Remember: it’s better to make a little
progress toward your goals than none at all. If your
resolution to run for 30 minutes a day crumbles, create
another resolution right away to run for 20 minutes a day.
If that fails, try 10 minutes a day. You will eventually be
successful, even if you’re running for just 30 seconds a day.

If that doesn’t seem like a big achievement, just take a
look around you. How many people do you see running for
even 10 seconds when there isn’t a cop around?

Now and then, you may spot someone running down your road at
an Olympic pace, but that’s only because your neighbor lets
his dog run loose.

Studies show that the average young adult in big cities like
Delhi or Chicago runs for only 20 seconds a year ”“ just long
enough to take a photo for their annual “I ran the marathon”
post on Facebook.

Melvin Durai is an Indiana-based writer and humorist, author
of the humorous novel “Bala Takes the Plunge.” A
native of India, he grew up in Zambia and has lived in North
America since the early 1980s. Read his humor blog at   Write to him at

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