Covid be dammed, I fully intend making a bunch of new year resolutions that I have no intention of keeping. The pandemic can rob us of our health, our economic security, ability to travel and of our freedom, but it can never take away our ability to delude ourselves. That is and will always be ours.
I have noticed that whereas in past years the first few weeks, publications were filled with sage advice to assist us in getting our lives on track and with wisdom around sticking to the goals and resolutions that we have set ourselves, this year these articles are glaringly and wonderfully absent.
No one is advising me how to go from “Couch to 5km in only 10 minutes a day”, no one is promising me the tightest abs the word has ever seen, and no one would have the “chutzpah” to even suggest a “Dry January.” Especially considering that medicinal alcohol (3 per day for 10 days and then repeat), is likely the only sensible way to face the year ahead.
Which is one of the reasons that 2021 could be our best year yet.
Consider the following: The one and probably only thing that most of the world can agree on was how bad 2020 was. It was a year that started like any other, but then descended into an unimaginable reality. Even for those of us who annoyingly like to “reframe” things and look for the positive in any situation have had a pretty hard time convincing anyone that 2020 was a good year.
Of course there were lessons to be learned, perspective to be given, and there were some benefits to being locked in our homes with our teenagers (or worse). But on the whole, it was a pretty miserable time. And now that it is over, even us “glass half full” guys will admit that not only was it in reality half empty, but also, that what remained in the glass could possibly and would most likely kill us.
Whereas I am always petrified to use the “it can only get better” approach to horrible situations (because it generally can get worse), the reality is that we are coming off a pretty low base. When the mere survival of the year is considered an achievement, anything better than that has a good chance of making us happy. Even if it’s for a little while.
What this means is that 2021 provides us with a once in a lifetime, not to be missed opportunity to make any resolution that tickles our fancy without the guilt of not sticking to it. Because no one expects us to. And no one will be disappointed. More than that, even if we do, say eat healthy for two days (not including the nights when we binge), we can still pat ourselves on the back and be proud of ourselves. Compared to last year, we are already over achievers.
Alternatively, if that isn’t our style, we can “resolute” with less ambition than in prior years and feel good about ourselves (if we compare it to last year). No more breakfast
Howard Feldman is one of SA's leading entrepreneurs and Head of Marketing & People at Synthesis. His experience is global and extensive, spanning more than 20 years of working as a businessman, philanthropist and social commentator. Feldman was the chairperson of the Board of the South African Jewish Report, the only weekly Jewish newspaper in Africa, and he is a global keynote speaker, business strategist, author and morning drive show host.
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