Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Can you smell it my dear girlfriends? As distinct as Chanel No.5, or apple scented deodorant, here it comes, like a boxing day sale in hell, the New Year. Make no mistake, I am a fan of rebirth (my closet is a testament to the very fact). And when it comes to change, I welcome it with an open mind and an AMEX card. Of course I will continue to embrace the new years as they come as long as the following conditions are met:
1. I can still call it “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s” and do not have to refer to Ryan Seacrest’s participation in said event in any way shape or form.
2. I am not subjected to an obligatory New Years Eve Party where the scrutiny and expectation of the evening forever outweigh the night’s enjoyment. But I maintain, I must be able to watch the BALL drop from wherever I decide to ring in the new year.
3. Real Champagne will always be provided, preferably pink. A sparkling wine substitute will just not do.
4. My outfit is my choice. This is the one night of the year where if I want to wear pajamas and a tiara, then by God I will. The occasion will not chose the attire- I will. (Those of you who do not understand this last statement, think about how you were- on picture day in grade school and you will now know what I mean) .
5. If I so chose, I am able to ring in the new year as any grown adult past the age of 35 should be allowed to; fast asleep in my bed, belly full, alcohol coursing its way through my veins as I sleep my way towards a morning hangover.
Having made my list and checked it twice, I continue to be baffled by inventories of another kind… the ever dreaded New Year’s Resolution. Truth be told, I hate New Year’s resolutions. Each year we spend a good month of valuable planning time (you know who you are and be frank you time would be better spent cleaning your bathroom) anticipating the person we would like to be in the future.
Make no mistake, as human beings, anticipation is truly a key to our happiness. I myself can wait for the 2010 Olympics, the Oscars, The Golden Globes and Fall’s Ready to Wear collections. But I realized long ago (probably around age 30) that planning for a change only delays it further.
Here’s what the evidence shows…
There is actually a study called the New Year’s Resolution experiment done in 2007 on 3000 people in the UK. This research shows that while 52% of participants in a resolution study were confident of success with their goals, only 12% actually achieved their goals. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, a system where small measurable goals are used (lose a pound a week, instead of saying "lose weight"), while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends
Professor of psychology at Deakin University, Bob Cummins, says making New Year's resolutions helps us feel better about ourselves.
"One of the fundamental features of human beings is that we need to feel good about ourselves. It's a very, very strong need that we have," he said.
In fact, Professor Cummins says making a New Year's resolution is our way of seeking forgiveness and clearing our guilty consciences.
"The end of the year constitutes a kind of secular absolution that people earnestly say to themselves and their friends and their dear ones, 'I'm going to change'," he said.
"This turns them into not only a good person because they've got these good ideas, but it also makes them feel very good because they're absolved of their sins during the past year and they're not going to do these things any more.
"So in a way it's like an addiction in itself. People just must make these very ambitious personal claims of absolution at the end of each year."
And so, some years ago, I stopped it all. I refused to spend another year standing on ceremony willing the change to come. And my New Year’s Resolutions faded into oblivion as I decided to take on each day…
And so, today really is the day. Whether it is a ten pound weight loss or an exercise regimen; quitting smoking to embracing bargain shopping; from bad habits to bad dating… today is the day to get off “The Tomorrow Merri-go-Round”. I will not spend another year with resolutions to fill as empty as champagne flutes.
So my dear cyber sisters, my advice on this dawn of a decade and for all other new years to come is this… Be it resolved that we will live each day in a celebration and promise. I will think of you all as I done my tiara and my flannels and settle in for my date with Dick and his big crystal ball. And that is the best (and only) resolution I’ve made in a long time…..