After packing, moving and unpacking for nearly a week over the holidays, I just wanted to get a pizza and some drinks. But a few New Year's resolutions had different ideas. And no, not my resolutions.
It was lunchtime on the Friday after New Year's and I texted a friend saying I'm craving Toni's Detroit Style pizza. His response was, "I'm the heaviest I've been, so my resolution is to get leaner." Obviously I want what's best for my friend, so I ask him what he's been doing to get there. He joined a gym and obviously wasn't eating pizza. I laughed and said, "Alright, give me a call next week when you want to go." I hate eating alone, but the craving drove my car over there and I got my favorite pie.
On the drive there, I called another friend and asked if he wanted to grab a drink. He said, man I'm doing Dry January. You should do it too, it's easy. My response was that there's way too much football left and I know I'll grab a beer. (I was waiting until after the Super Bowl.)
Then I called another friend and asked if she wanted to grab a bite at happy hour. I mean, it is Friday after all. She combined three resolutions! No drinking, eating healthier, and saving money!
Three strikes ended my efforts. It was looking like I either need to come up with my own resolution, or enjoy a party of one! Right then and there, one of my favorite Dierks Bentley songs blared from the radio … "Am I the only one who wants to have fun tonight? Is there anybody out there who wants to have a cold beer? Kick it to the morning light. If I have to raise hell all by myself, I will, but y'all, that ain't right." A party of one it was then!
A YouGov poll suggests roughly 40 percent of Americans make a New Year's resolution. Of them, about 6 percent keep them. Eating better, saving money, and working out are the most popular. For me, apparently either the majority of my friends decided 2020 is their year for some kind of transformation, or they just don't want to hang out with me. (If it's the latter, give me a call, I may need new friends.)
In all seriousness though, I made a few resolutions — or goals, as I like to call them. It gives me a sense of purpose in the morning, instead of waking up and doing the same routine over and over. I set my goals from short to long-term. For example, my goal for the decade is to save up as much money as possible to fulfill another goal. That doesn't mean drastically altering my life, but by making small moves here and there. For example, moving to a smaller apartment, or adding on some side gigs.
Aside from clearly needing to find new friends, another question presented itself: Why do people wait to make these transformations for a new year? If the goal is so important to you, why not start sooner? Clearly, that goal is something you've been wanting to do for a while, is it not?
Not all of us love our jobs, but obviously we have to do it. Maybe you have a passion that you can incorporate into your routine to start that transformation. There's a great quote from the former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden who said, "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
Instead of making drastic changes that overwhelm you and make your goals harder to achieve, take small steps. At least that way you won't find yourself trying to relate to a Dierks Bentley song.
Rouzy Vafaie is a former Charleston County Republican Party leader.