When it comes to the time-honored tradition of New Year’s resolutions, Bob Scheifele is somewhat mystified.
In fact, the Nashua resident has vowed not to be resolute.
“I’ve never fully understood the idea of New Year’s resolutions,” he wrote. “If you need to do something and it is of any importance, why delay it until New Year’s and what has New Year’s got to do with it?”
If you want to start a diet, start right away, he notes. Likewise with quitting smoking.
In fact, the whole reliance on dates seems confusing.
“We Americans do some silly things,” Scheifele wrote in response to a Telegraph Reader Advisory Network query. “We wait until April 15th to file our income taxes, we start exercise programs in January and end them several weeks later, we have ‘spring’ cleaning, and we do our Christmas shopping on the day following Thanksgiving, because ‘that’s the way it’s done.’ ”
While some people are clinging to the traditional resolutions - more exercise, less food, more savings, less spending - others are rejecting the tradition altogether.
Nashua resident Karen Bill is still holding fast to a resolution she made 12 years ago - to never make another New Year’s resolution.
“I didn’t make any resolutions!” Nashua resident Jason Brown wrote. “It puts too much pressure on myself to keep them!”
Instead, Brown wrote, he makes resolutions throughout the year and is able to keep about half of them.
Nashua resident Di Lothrop kept forgetting her New Year’s resolutions. One year, she decided to start taking gingko biloba to help her memory, but drum roll please, she kept forgetting to take it.
“I think New Year’s resolutions have gone out of style because you just don’t hear many people making them now,” she wrote.
There are some resolutions that are easy to keep, Nashua resident Paul Tedder said. Those resolutions include gain 30 pounds this year, watch more television, and clean less.All kidding aside, Tedder wrote that he sees each day as an opportunity for making improvements.
“Besides, by not making New Year’s resolutions, you don’t have people watching over for the first two weeks of January (‘You’re smoking?! I thought your resolution was to quit’ ‘It was, I’ve got a whole year to work on it.’)”
Usually, Merrimack resident Duncan Morrill doesn’t pay much attention to New Year’s resolutions, other than talking about them at parties.
“But this time around I think I just might get earnest - lose some weight - get more exercise - try to do more for my fellow man and community - like maybe some kind of community service - and cut back on the vino rouge and single malt,” he wrote.
Jeanine Notter plans on taking a past resolution and perfecting it.
With a family of eight, laundry is somewhat of a daunting task. Last year, Notter, of Merrimack, tried to organize a system. Every family member got their own hamper.
While that was helpful, Notter hopes to go one step further and give everyone their own laundry day.
“This should cut down on the traffic and pileups in the laundry room and spare the computer room from doubling as Clean Laundry Central,” she wrote.
Northwood resident Bob Jean is also building on a past resolution.
He started the Atkins diet Jan. 3 and managed to hang on until May, when he started cheating. But even with the backslide, Jean figures he only gained back eight of the 50 pounds he lost.
“I haven’t given up,” he wrote. “I’m going to start Atkins again on January 2, try like heck to stay faithful until May again, and if I don’t get mad cow disease before then, I should be down to the 70 pounds I wanted to lose.”
On the whole, New Year’s resolutions have worked for him, Jean wrote. “They are better than none at all, even when they don’t endure,” he wrote.
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This article appears in the Archive 2003 issue of New Hampshire Business Review