As the first day of 2022 comes to a close, now is a good time to stop, take a look back over the past 24 hours, and determine how many of your resolutions have already been broken. Have you broken one or two of them? How about all of them? Or did you forget to make a resolution all together?
Well, don’t worry! Seriously, New Year’s resolutions are the worst! Every new year, people resolve to make changes and it rarely happens. Instead, people almost immediately break their resolutions and then they spend the next 12 months feeling like a failure. The amount of pressure that people put on themselves to try to change their lives for the better, it’s not fair, to be honest. If you’ve already broken your resolution, don’t feel bad about it. As long as your resolution wasn’t to stop doing something terrible and illegal, I forgive you if you’ve already totally failed to keep your promise to yourself. Take some comfort in that.
(My own resolution for 2022 was to be nicer to my friends and stop putting so much pressure on myself. I think that was last year’s resolution as well and we all know how well that went. I think my most successful resolution was from 2004. That was when I resolved to survive any serious car accidents that I got involved with and to go to college and I managed to keep both of those resolutions. BOOM!)
We always hear that change is good but sometimes it isn’t. And here to illustrate that point are John Cleese and Michael Palin from Monty Python’s Flying Circus! Below is one of my favorite sketches from that famous show. Palin is a chartered accountant who wants to be a lion tamer. He has no experience but he does have his own hat! Cleese shows him the error of his ways, including revealing that Palin has long been mistaking anteaters for lions. Who hasn’t made the same mistake?
(I have to admit that my favorite Monty Python moments often involved Palin somehow getting on Cleese’s nerves. Palin’s eagerness to please and his way with a deceptively passive statement was always the perfect foil for Cleese’s slightly more aggressive style of comedy. Perhaps not coincidentally, I’ve read on numerous occasions that Cleese’s main motivation for getting involved with what would become Monty Python was so he could work with Michael Palin.)
My favorite line from this particular vignette: “Yes, yes, yes, I do follow, Mr Anchovy, but you see the snag is… if I now call Mr Chipperfield and say to him, ‘look here, I’ve got a forty-five-year-old chartered accountant with me who wants to become a lion tamer’, his first question is not going to be ‘does he have his own hat?'”
Think of this whenever you fear that you’re not living up to your resolutions! After all, sometimes there’s more to changing one’s life than merely having the right hat (though, I imagine it does help).