By Younas Chaudhary
Growing up in a remote village in Pakistan, I never knew about New Year celebrations until I arrived in the West in the early 1970’s. In our village, the biggest festivities were the traditional Muslim holidays, the small Eid, and the big Eid. After arriving in the West, I started celebrating the New Year and along with it came the frenzy of New Year resolutions.
New Year resolutions are pointless. We peg a date on the calendar to make big life changes as it is a universal psychological motivator. You may disagree with me on this, but over the years I have seen most people fail in keeping their New Year’s resolutions within a week’s time including those in my own immediate family!
New Year’s Day is just another day on the calendar. We have created these celebrations and certain people wake up with the hangover and guilt of what was done the day before. Those who resolve to quit drinking return to the habit in a few days because quitting alcohol needs professional intervention and deep inner desire. Those who try to quit smoking end up getting back in the habit a few days later because the cold turkey method seldom works. Instead of making these resolutions, look inward and think why you are destroying your body and mind when you have a beautiful life ahead of you.
This is a season of hoaxes, and the biggest ones are the advertisements for treadmills, yoga, mindfulness, and healthy eating. The treadmill manufacturer wants to cash in on your New Year resolution to stay fit knowing very well that your treadmill will gather dust in a few weeks, but a sale is a sale and more profits to the company. The yoga teacher and your mindfulness guru will sell you an attractive boxed spiritual peace package offering you free registrations, tryouts, and a promise to see heaven on earth. Neither yoga nor mindfulness can get you inner peace just because you made a New Year resolution to be spiritually alert all the time.
And let us not forget those expensive healthy eating advertisements including purifiers and detox juices that claim a return to your youthful self in a matter of hours. Most are scientifically wrong, but your gullible mind will fall prey to it because you made a resolution to eat healthy! Instead, go to your local supermarket, get some fresh kale and fresh vegetables for a fraction of the cost, and make yourself a delicious, healthy meal in your kitchen.
We fall for the fad of New Year resolutions because we want to impress friends and family members. What is the point in walking 30 minutes a day during the first week of the New Year, then cutting it to three days a week, and finally by the month’s end you have already stopped exercising? Why do you want to make New Year resolutions to impress others? Instead, be genuine and take baby steps to do something meaningful for the New Year if you believe that it is a psychological turnaround date for you.
If there is one resolution, we can all make together this year, let us reduce our social media consumption and stop using phones while driving. Let us look into each other’s eyes when talking instead of staring at our phones and let us give a reprieve to our aching neck, our watery eyes, and our fogged brain.
Together, let us resolve to stop using phones while driving. I hope car manufacturers everywhere will work together to deactivate our phones as soon as we open our car doors in 2022. I know this is a dream, but it will save many lives around the world in 2022 and beyond. This is my only New Year resolution for 2022!
God has given each of us a unique beautiful body, mind, and soul and all we need to do is accept that and make the best of what we have. Take things slowly, do things consistently, and have patience instead of making yearly resolutions to adhere to a phony worldwide deadline to transform yourself in a few days or months.
According to YouGov America, about one in four Americans (27%) said they made New Year’s resolutions for 2020. The most common resolutions were as follows:
- Exercising more (46%)
- Improving their diet (45%)
- Losing weight (44%)
- Saving money (41%)
Did they stick to their resolutions? About half of those who made 2020 resolutions said that they kept some but not all their resolutions from the previous year, while just over one-third (35%) said they kept all their resolutions. Sixteen percent said they did not keep any of the resolutions they made for 2020!
Wishing you all a healthy, peaceful and Happy New Year with many thanks to each of you for reading and sometimes commenting my ongoing blogs. Blessings!
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated. Further, I make no warranty regarding the accuracy or effectiveness of my recommendations, and readers are advised to consult other advisors as well as their own judgments in making business decisions.