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Resolutions are celebrations of procrastination

Well, 2018 has about gone the way of the dinosaurs, becoming just memories and history.

But before we close the chapter on the year that was, many people will participate in that time-honored tradition of making New Year’s excuses — uh, I mean resolutions.

Americans celebrate lots of holidays in a host of unusual ways. Most are harmless, even if they are somewhat silly.

For St. Patrick’s Day, some communities dye their rivers — or beer — green. On Easter, we celebrate a rabbit that has an obsessive-compulsive fascination with eggs. Thanksgiving has become synonymous with eating a bird. I am sure those gobblers aren’t too thankful at all.

But, at least for me, New Year’s Eve takes the proverbial cake when it comes to asinine ways to mark a special occasion.

Getting together with friends and family to commemorate the passing of the old and the beginning of something new makes perfect sense and should be cherished. It is the resolution part that leaves me confused.

What purpose is there in making a promise to yourself when — more often than not — you know it simply will be forgotten in a few weeks?

New Year’s resolutions are symbolic of a larger problem with our society: They delay responsibility, promote procrastination and make light of things that are important.

If something is truly meaningful in your life, why wait for some arbitrary date?

Will it be any easier to quit smoking after Jan. 1 than it would be to just kick the butts today?

If you have never been able to get motivated to hit that treadmill that keeps collecting dust in your basement, why will a new digit at the end of the year make a difference?

Always a popular one, many people vow to spend more time with their families and loved ones. Why wait? That should be a resolution 365 days out of the year.

Making positive changes in our lives is never easy and it is understandable that people sometimes look for extra motivation. Hopefully, we can all search inside ourselves to find the willpower to make changes.

After all, dropping bad habits and changing our lifestyle is more about taking responsibility for our own actions and having the commitment, tenacity and self-confidence to hold ourselves accountable.

Choosing a date tied to the turning of New Year makes it too easy to waffle come February, June or another month down the road.

I would challenge every person thinking of making a New Year’s resolution to do some soul searching to determine what he or she would change about himself or herself. Then, just do it.

Not on Jan. 1. Do it right now! Then, treat every day like Dec. 31. Think about that resolution each night when you go to bed.

Changing our lives is never easy, but it certainly won’t happen by making a commitment one night out of the year.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Advocate-Messenger and Danville Living magazine. He can be reached at (859) 469-6400 or by email at mike.caldwell@centralkynews.com.