It’s this time of the year again: people are making resolutions about what to do in 2012: eat less, exercise more, quit smoking, learn a new language, find a girlfriend/boyfriend, become a millionaire.
My resolutions for 2012? None. Absolutely nothing.
That’s not because I think that I and my life are perfect already. They are not, and they probably never will be.
But if there is something that I want to change or improve, I don’t see why I have to wait for the arbitrarily set date of 31 December or 1 January. When I want to change something, I will do it right away. As I did in 2011:
- In March I read “Into the Wild” which inspired me to go on outdoor adventures again. Already in June I walked across England, all the way from the East to the West coast.
- I wanted to prioritize my studies, so I reduced my work to part-time.
- For my birthday in July, I went to the Channel Islands for more hiking and discovered paradise.
- As I became tired of life in London after two years there, I quit my job, terminated my lease and spontaneously moved to Malta.
For none of these things did I say “I’ll do that next year” or “I need to plan it more before I can do it.” I just did them. And I am happy that I did.
Whether it’s resolutions, long-term plans or to-do lists, it’s all just procrastination. If there is something in your life that you want to change, the time is now.
- If you want to quit smoking, throw away all the cigarettes in your house now. Don’t buy new ones. It’s easy. (If you have cigars, you can give them to me.)
- If you want to learn a new language, start today. No, you don’t need to wait until a course starts or the books arrive. For almost any language, you will find the first few lessons online.
- If you want to exercise more, you don’t need to register with a gym. Put on your running shoes and go for a run now. If you don’t have running shoes, go for a long and fast walk. If you can’t go outside, do push-ups at home.
- If you want to quit your job, write the resignation letter today and e-mail it to your employer. (In some jurisdictions, a signed resignation letter may be required in addition to that.)
- If you want to end a relationship, tell your boyfriend/girlfriend that you never want to see them again. (But get your stuff back first.)
- If you want to visit me in Malta, buy the ticket. (Maybe after asking me when I will be available.)
- If you want to visit any other country, buy the ticket.
- If you want to become more intellectual, buy or borrow a good book today and start reading it tonight. (Ask me for recommendations.) If you can’t get access to books that quickly, start with my blog.
- If you want to give more to the poor, go out and help a homeless person today.
- If you want to be more creative, start drawing, painting or taking photographs.
- If you want to live healthier, buy or pick fruits.
- If you want to become more adventurous, pack your sleeping bag and spend a night in the forest. (I might even join you.)
- Do not under any circumstances use words like “tomorrow”, “later” or “one day”.