Not having "resolutions" this New Years

Okay, I understand that many people like to make up “resolutions” for New Years. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

  • “This is the year I start eating healthier.”
  • “This is the year I go the gym ALL THE DAYS.”
  • “This is the year I volunteer to ALL THE CAUSES.”
  • “This is the year I will change (some basic trait) and instead (do something seen as better by society)!”

Right, that never works. And here’s why: the motivations are completely wrong. “New Year’s Day” is, by the by, just another day. It’s another day that is usually felt hung over, but still it is just another day. This is not a catalyst with which to make a large change, for yourself or for anyone else. What matters is not when you start something, but how and why you start it. Why do you want to eat healthier? Is it because it’s the “in” thing to do, or is it because you genuinely want to be healthy? Do you really only want to be healthy because it’s a new year?

I realise that many people view a new year as a “new beginning”; whilst a happy sentiment, and one that can sell a lot of greeting cards and party hats, it is nothing more than just that – a sentiment. The boundary of a year is an invented one. If you truly want to be healthy, you should do it because you want to be healthy, not because you want “this year to be different”. When you inevitably slip up — don’t be ashamed of yourself, we all do at one point or another — you can simply say “I still want to be healthy and I’ll keep at it” instead of “oh well, this year isn’t being different, I’ll try again next year”. You’ll eventually run out of next years with which to try again.

So what are my goals for this year? I’d like to move to a better locale than I live now and finally finish my schooling. However, these aren’t new goals I pulled out of my rear for the new year; I have been working at them for months now and I plan to achieve them this year. Plan ahead and don’t stop for the bumps. Be inspired to smooth over the next ones!

I suppose my major point to this is that the best thing you can do this New Years is enjoy it with your friends and family. And if you want to change something besides your wall calendar, you need to have the right reasons for it. You are definitely worth your own investment of time and energy. You just have to see yourself that way, and then it will pay off in dividends.

Now playing: ♫ Skyfall – Adele

Categorisation and judgement

I’ve noticed that, especially on the internet, people are judged based on broad generalisations and wide-sweeping categories. Why?

Some have told me that stereotypes are typically true, otherwise they wouldn’t exist. I am inclined to disagree because of how many stereotypes I’ve seen proved untrue. I think that this is a self-deluded rationalisation from people who want to have a reason to feel better about themselves after passing judgement. For example, some people feel that all programmers are “assholes”, and while I know some programmers are, this is largely not the case in my experience. Programmers are sometimes impassioned, sometimes lacking in empathy, but I rarely see ‘assholes’.

Some have told me that they have their own personal bad experiences with a member of a group, so they feel the entire group is bad. I don’t want to start a war about furries or musicians or bronies or [fill in the blank], but a single member of a group you haven’t interacted with much is probably the loudest one and therefore the poorest representation of what the group as a whole is like. In my spare time, I like to draw canines (especially wolves and foxes), and this has given me a bit of an overlap with some of the furry community. I’ve found most of them to be balanced, delightful people — though certainly they aren’t all that way — yet I still constantly run in to people who think that furries are monsters. I met someone once who actually hoped that all furries “die of horrible diseases you can only get from having sex with animals”… which fails to note that I haven’t even met a furry that does such a thing. Again, this is just a stereotype that is silly and causing unnecessary hate and tension to a group of people based on stories or a few fringe members.

What I implore you to do is to think for yourself and do a little research before you hate someone or a group based solely on something they like or their profession or the group with which they have membership. The results may surprise you.

♫ Now playing: Fade – AJITEK