Tuesday, 22 January 2013

New Year Resolutions Don’t Work – Do They?

There is something a tad bizarre about New Year Resolutions.  What is different about 1st January to the 31st December?  If we are not inclined to do something one day, why should another be any different?  However illogical, New Year resolutions are hard to resist.  It may be a function of my age, but I’m growing weary of making a long list.  Experience has taught me that one will be tough enough – and maybe even too tough.  But as making half a resolution isn’t an option, I’m going with one.

So this is it.  My 2013 resolution.  Drum roll and all that jazz.

It’s to be tidier.  Consistently and thoroughly tidy.

I am annoyingly tidy in certain areas of my life.  And annoyingly untidy in others.  Those close to me might be hard pressed to say which is more annoying, but I’d hazard a guess the untidiness may win.

I can find no evidence that tidy people live longer, happier or more successful lives.  But I guess they spend less time looking for stuff.  Anecdotally I know at least one super-successful person who appears very tidy.  I mean, I haven’t been through his drawers, but the surface of his large desk at least is pristine.

So there you have it – tidiness.  Whether or not it is next to godliness or happiness remains to be seen, but frankly I’d settle for calmness.  Or at least less anguished panic attacks when I can’t find things.

I’ll keep you posted.  If you are even vaguely interested ….


  1. I remember being taught the maxim of how not to lose things - when you put something down (or give something up) 'don't do it out of distraction, do it deliberately'.

    The appearance of tidiness isn't necessarily the same thing as good organisation. Order isn't neatness, it's the art of being systematic.

    For example: if you don't want to lose where you are in a book (those were the days), you might use a bookmark, or (urgh) fold a corner. Both work, just in different ways.

    Everything has it's place: books with a mark, keys on a ring, letters in a file... rubbish in the bin.

    Colour-mnemonics may also help - everyone knows the red bucket is for messy emergencies, then there's the brass bowl for things you want to put in your pocket (it's shiny and attracts the eye), and I use a purple folder for urgent letters (they're 'on purpose').

    The thought and behaviour patterns involved are fascinating. Technical minds might find order in repetition, wher more creative types build free associations between objects and places. So you can bet Derren Brown has to make an effort to lose anything.

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  3. I think that New Year resolutions work. At least for me. It's not like, you know, I said - I did. But it works rather as a plan, that stays in the brain, when you wrote it down. I found about this technique thanks to the lord of papers services for the first time. And I recommend you conciser to do it too.