Today is the day that many folks around the world pause to reflect on the past and set goals for the future, known as New Year’s Resolutions. I am here to help.
My help will be valuable for the self-esteem of the multitudes of people who comprise The General Public. My mission is to set you who are in The General Public free from the guilt that comes with broken resolutions by helping you compose a list of resolutions that you are unlikely to break.
You are unlikely to break resolutions to do things that you want to do anyway; or, to refrain from doing things that you do not want to do anyway. This is a very successful method of self-help. It is a form of psychological judo. Judo, as I understand it, involves the principle of directing force rather than resisting force. The force about which this advice is directed is called Human Nature.
Those of you familiar with Human Nature have likely observed, for example, that it is a popular resolution to lose weight and to vow to go regularly to the gym in order to accomplish that goal. You have observed crowded gyms in January that thin out by February. (Of course you have observed this phenomenon only if you are one of the February attendees, so you might only have learned of this by anecdotal history told to you by others.)
1. DO NOT PAY AT THE PUMP. The silly, lazy people who purchase fuel by inserting a credit card into the device at the pump suffer from two disadvantages. They miss out on the exercise of walking to the cashier, who is in a building containing a convenience store, and they miss out on the opportunity to buy a treat at the same time as they pay for the fuel. Personally, the closest fuel pumps to my home lack modernistic pay-at-the-pump technology. Not only that, but this convenience store is perhaps the only one in America that has a flight of stairs from the pumps to the cashier. Here is the drill: park by the pump; climb the stairs (even if you are a candidate for a double knee replacement) or, if you are chair-bound, wheel up the ramp on the other side of the building; pre-pay the cashier (which is dangerous as the pumps do not automatically shut off so you pump an incorrect amount at your peril and would have to come back to pay the extra) or, for security reasons, leave your card with the cashier and walk back down the stairs to your vehicle; dispense fuel into your vehicle; climb up the stairs for the second time to sign the slip at which time the customer deserves a treat and if the customer is me, selects a cup of hot chocolate with a few drops of coffee as well as, say, a Snickers bar; and negotiates down the stairs balancing the cup and carrying the candy bar with no free hand to grab the railing, thus calling upon balancing skills while returning to the vehicle. Exercise and a treat! Brilliant! You are welcome!
2. AVOID THE GYM. Especially after purchasing gas where I do, there is no need to pay to go to a gym in order to get on a machine like the Stairmaster. Even if you purchase fuel where stairs are lacking, there are other reasons to avoid the gym anyway. As mentioned above, gyms are crowded in January, I have heard, so you risk exposure to sweaty individuals who might be carrying a contagious disease. That is a reason in the category of self-protection, but I offer a more altruistic reason, which is that your absence make the gym less crowded for others. Doesn’t that make you feel better about yourself?
3. THROW AWAY THE SCALE. It is a well known scientific fact that it is easier to gain weight than to lose it. I know a man, who appears in my mirror, who can watch his food intake for a week, exercise diligently, and lose maybe two pounds, then have one hearty meal and gain five pounds. That is discouraging. That is depressing. That lowers his self-esteem. It is another scientific fact that, on a day to day basis, weight gain is almost imperceptible to the naked eye. Therefore, in order to avoid depression and lowered self-esteem, throw away the scale and just look in the mirror. You will hardly notice any weight gain unless you look at old photos of yourself or until a pesky physician tries to get you on the scale for your physical exam. As the imperceptible daily changes become perceptible after a year without a scale, you can have a resolution for 2018 to throw away all mirrors in your home.
If you are keeping up with my irrefutable logic, you will soon enjoy the fruits of success, including positive self-esteem. While others bemoan with shame their broken resolutions, you will smugly smile, secure in your superiority to The General Public for having harnessed Human Nature.
Have a Happy New Year!