Welcome to January. Welcome to 2015. Or, as I put it: Welcome to Thursday.
I’m sure you’ve come up with a lovely resolution that will bring your existence to a new level of consciousness. I’m positive that you see the first day of 2015 as the beginning of great adventure, and the last day of 2014 as the abandonment of every bad habit, poor choice, and deep-seated regret that happened in the span of the previous 364 days. And I’m sure that you’re looking forward to your sparkly manicure, you perfectly chosen dress, and well-coiffed hair to match — not to mention the many, many sips of champagne — out of a glass, a straw, or the bottle, depending on your mood and the hour. You’ve already picked out your Midnight Kiss person, or have made a pre-resolution to find an accessible and reasonably good looking option before the clock strikes twelve.
You’re filled to bursting with anticipation, hope, and excitement !
After all, New Years Eve is the biggest party of the year, rivaled only by St. Patrick’s Day (please don’t get me started on that one). It’s about new beginnings, getting drunk, starting over, making out — what more could a 20-something ask for?
How about some perspective?
First of all,the manicure will chip, the hair will inevitably become bedhead by the end of the night, and the dress will become a liability — the more you drink, the likelier it is that someone will see your New Years panties, and your resolution to stop embarrassing yourself in public will be ruined within the first moments of 2015.
Second, the many, many sips of champagne that felt so good as the ball drops and the bells toll will transform themselves into a massive headache on the first day of the New Year because we’re not in college anymore, and our livers have begun to give up on us, or at least protest their ill treatment. Better yet, you could be the girl who causes everyone to jump to the left side of the sidewalk as she throws up her bottle and a half of champagne into the street sometime past midnight. Everyone loves to be that girl.
As for your Midnight Kiss? If you haven’t kept them relatively sober and by your side throughout the evening, you could:
a) End up scanning the room for them as everyone makes out around you;
b) Decline to kiss them out of fear of poor drunkenness-related technique;
c) Not have found anyone to kiss at all, and be forced to wait out the beautifully romantic moment your best friend is having with her boyfriend before she turns to kiss you on the cheek.
But worst of all the New Years perspective problems are your resolutions. The overarching, well-meaning resolutions you wrote down with your roommates, significant other, and best friends, and posted lovingly on your fridge, mirror, or ceiling above your bed are awful, poorly planned, and impossible to keep. Truth be told, they won’t hold up past February at the latest.
However, my New Years resolution for 2014 was to help people, so don’t fret. I’ll fix them for you.
The problem with your resolutions is that they’re such large-scale operations, and you haven’t given any thought as to how to achieve them.
For example, if you want to lose weight, you’ll join the closest gym that’s offering the biggest discount for the New Year, maybe go a few times (and clog the treadmills so none of the gym-rat-regulars can train for the spring marathons), and then invent a plethora of excuses to avoid going. I will give you this: those excuses will be damn creative.
Or if you want to start saving money, you’ll download the Mint app, cut down on delivery and drunken online shopping for a while, and then one stressful or PMS-y day, you’ll break down and order Chinese or a new outfit, and we all know it’s downhill from there.
And if you want to get organized, you’ll spend the weekend after New Years deep cleaning your apartment, with specific attention paid to your desk, bathroom counter, and bedroom floor (the natural habitat for all clothing). But the truth is that you’re not a natural Type-A, you don’t want to continue putting time and attention into keeping things into their place, and before you know, your things will be sprawled over your entire apartment like a bunch of hungover frat boys.
But before you start drafting a nasty ‘you-don’t-know-me’ comment, hold up — I’ve got the secret to everything:
Resolutions have to wait until you can’t not make them.
The long and short of it is that Thursday may be the first day of 2015, but it’s also just another day — more than likely another day spent in bed hungover and watching Netflix. New Years Eve parties are over-the-top spectacular parades of glitter and champagne, and that makes a person want to turn their life around. But in the cold, slushy light of day, what’s going to keep you on that treadmill? What will keep your credit card in your wallet? What will inspire you to tidy your apartment day in and day out?
Not every day will be a magical party-till-dawn sort of day. Not every day will be inspirational, motivational, or even vaguely influential. You already know this because you’ve lived through 20-some-odd years of days like that. And not a one of them has caused you to work out, save money, or get organized.
In the end, it’s not the day that brings about change; it has to be you. If you haven’t decided to dive headfirst into your resolution already, chances are you won’t find the drive to do it just because you have to change calendars.
So the solution is to enjoy your New Years Eve. Get dressed up, drink champagne, hunt down someone to kiss, and deal with the (near-inevitable) hangover. But hold off on your resolutions. Give them time to develop into obsessions and then take action. Whether that coincides with the turn of the year or comes to you on the hottest day in August doesn’t matter because, in the end, it isn’t about the intentions you set, but the changes you make.
And no one, not even you, will care or remember when you decided to do something different; they’ll only see what you’ve accomplished, what results you’ve attained, and, most of all, what you have to be proud of.