From The Hutch
I’m always a little bit optimistic about my New Year resolutions.
I figure if you aim extremely high, then chances are when you come plummeting back to Earth, at least you might be halfway up the mountain.
When I was 17, I told my sister I was going to own an airline and be well on my way to becoming a billionaire by the time I was 20.
That proved to be optimistic, but I did take a couple of flying lessons at the Tauranga Aero Club that year and reckon I could land a plane if I really had to. I’m always hopeful the airline steward will pop their head out of the pilot’s cabin and ask if anyone has any flying experience.
A few years later, in Christchurch, I attempted to enter the cut-throat business of sheepskin slipper making. I purchased a set of templates, an industrial cup seaming machine and about 30 suede sheepskins in tan, blue and pink.
It turns out sheepskin slipper making is not the massively profitable business I thought it would be. I eventually sold the cup seamer to a guy who services the machines at Lane Walker Rudkins.
I had enough sheepskins to make insoles for years afterwards and even went to an f-themed party at a mate’s rugby club dressed as a fur ball.
There are many different approaches to New Year resolutions. Some people just call them “goals” and turn their noses up at once-a-year resolutions. We should have short term, medium term and long term goals.
That seems like a lot of planning and if pressed on the issue right now I would probably just say my long term goal is to live in a granny flat and play X-Box all day, using my pension to buy vodka and snacks. The medium-term goal is to live long enough to actually do this and my short term goal is to finish all the Christmas leftovers.
A very popular approach to New Year resolutions is to set the bar really low. For example, if you have a lot of things you want to achieve, start your list like this:
Brew the coffee
Make a list
That way, you have already achieved three things before you even finish your list.
Pretty much all of my to-do lists start with ‘make a list’.
Personally, I think New Year resolutions should be much grander than just goal setting though. The sort of thing that turns a granny flat into a penthouse apartment at The Mount.
My high school motto was Sapientia Carior Auro. This means ‘Wisdom is more precious than Gold’, and ‘No choice but success’.
That seems like too few words for all of those meanings but I didn’t study Latin, so who knows?
Money isn’t everything
Anyway, that brings me to the next kind of resolution which is all about being more altruistic and selfless, rather than focussing on materialistic goals.
That doesn’t mean you can’t do well financially by making people happy and a case in point for this is Dwayne Johnson. He was on Time Magazine’s top 100 most influential people list this year and this is what they wrote about him: “He is the true embodiment of the idea that people may forget what you said, people may forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Dwayne always makes sure people feel their best when he is around.”
I’m pretty sure I’ve got the first part of that sewn up already so really it’s just a matter of working on the being nice part.
Having Googled that extensively, it actually turns out that nice people don’t achieve as much as un-nice people.
Being hard-nosed and single-minded is apparently far more effective and those who make the biggest transformations to society don’t mind upsetting a few apple carts to achieve it.
A revolution resolution
So that leads us to the bad-ass resolution. The kind of resolution that democratically elected leaders, dictators, tyrants and martyrs all have in common. The change-the-world resolution.
Revolutions require resolutions and that’s why people like Nelson Mandela and Napoleon Bonaparte had such an impact. Their New Year resolutions must have been truly remarkable.
Of course a lot of people set out to change the world, aiming for the summit but landing head-first all over the mountain. These potential dictators and aspiring world leaders can be found on various committees and boards in the community.
Finally, the last resolution that springs to mind is the retrospective resolution. This is where you wait until the end of the year, pick something you did during the year, and call that your resolution.
Therefore, my 2019 resolution is to wish you all a very happy and successful 2020, no matter what it is you decide to do.