At least 80 percent of New Year's resolutions fail by February. Next Friday will be February. Most of you reading this will soon be tasting the soggy, remorse-filled aftertaste of failure. How do you redeem your sense of self-worth in the next six days? Can you become the person you hopefully imagined yourself to be during the pre-election euphoria of 2018? Can Madchef's messy, soggy, melted cheese-soaked burgers be eaten like a normal burger? Answers below.
We treat a new year like the starting point of a buffet. You hope to aim for light servings of protein with judicious amounts of salad minus the salty dressing. Well, you're supposed to anyway. But you remember you paid at least 1,000 taka a pop. You pile your plate full of all the meat products, dump the nastybits under the table even though there is no cat there and try every single colourful, sinful, sweet dessert. You would not feel so bloated and gassy if you stopped after the first helping. Or the third.
That is what New Year's resolutions feel like before the new year begins. You feel like you are in control and then the proverbial poop hits the fan. Reality dictates only about 9.2 percent of the people are successful in going through with their goals. The rest of you are reading this article.
Here are the top three resolutions that everyone makes. Worse still, these can kill you. Here's how you stay un-killed.
Spend more time with family
We are a busy nation. Our roads are now filled with impatient Pathao, Obhai, Uber Moto or Death-On-Two-Wheels ride sharing services. Everybody is busy leaning on their horns while travelling at Bangladesh's average speed of 7km/h. The more we try to give time to friends and family, especially those that live in Uttara, the more we suffer in traffic. Early this month, I tried visiting a relative in Uttara and the traffic jam was so bad that by the time I got back, my eight-month-old daughter had become nine months old. Trying to spend time with friends and family in this city means travelling. Travelling means death from accidents or old age.
Solution: If your friends and family move to Uttara, let them go. IF they come back, that means they have had enough.
73 percent of the people that set a fitness goal give up. That is because you are supposed to ease into a fitness routine. Most people dive in. Three weeks ago, on my nightly runs, I saw a man almost ready to take off into outer space. On a cold winter night, he walked into the open-air gym and jumped to grab a chin up bar. And then he twisted his body in a flapping motion from the waist down, back and forth, very fast like a fish being held by the tail. I stared in awe hoping to see his legs come off. He then got down and rotated his arms like a windmill as fast as he could. If he ran forward he would have flown. I could not take it anymore and ask him if it was his first day.
He had planned to get fit. I asked him if he had planned to get injured. He did not speak to me after that. I never saw him again. People give up because they get tired quickly, expect results too soon, become injured from being over enthusiastic or simply become dead. Being dead is the worst. Your hopes of achieving your goal goes from zero to never.
Solution: Getting fit takes time. Otherwise, eat and be merry.
Often this is a two edged sword. If you are young, you are likely eyeing some fancy gadget to help save money. That expensive smartwatch you bought to help track your weight? It cost a lot. That expensive smartwatch you bought so you do not have to check your phone for the time? That cost. That expensive smartwatch you got because it was made by Apple? Yeah, costs a lot. Before you know it, you are broke and sleeping on the street and getting driven over by inebriated rich kids. The trick to saving money is to actually save money. The thumb rule that seems to work is saving 30 percent of what you earn. Leave it aside completely and then try to save more from what remains. You do not touch that 30 percent even if you are dying. Or dead. IN fact, being dead save you from all these worries.
The bottomline (because it's at the bottom): According to a study it takes 66 days to completely break an old habit. If you have given up already, there is no hope for you. Bets to enjoy the next eleven months and start over again. Also, soggy burgers are the worst kind.
Ehsanur Raza Ronny is a confused dad, all round car guy, model car builder and cartoonist. Currently Editor of Shift (automobiles), Bytes (technology) and Next Step (career) for The Daily Star.