What? Not another New Year resolution? You’re feeling sea-sick? A stomach hurl coming along people. While others rant of in oblivion about all the things they’re never going to do, I promise to disclose the anatomy of it all (and, no, this is not a resolution in any form). In other words, the hard and fast of a promise – a resolution – we intend to never keep.

To begin with, lets see why most of us start to panic around this fragile time of the year. It’s peer pressure from your social or work network that triggers a grenade of flustering thoughts. What will I tell Frank and Martha at the gala? Will they think less of me? Will the guy in the cabin next to me at work frown upon my very existence- even though he looks like a walrus?

This is when you begin to fantasize about all the things you’d left uncooked, half-done or put in the far corners of a closet, now full cobwebs. These could be tiny little nothings i.e. going on a diet, smiling everyday, taking a bath every week, check of the imaginary number of women on my to date list, making conversation with complete strangers in alleys – you can add up, right?

And, once these resolutions or for the sake of conversation lets call them “verbal missiles” are in the state of launch sequence, the countdown of sweat trickles down your spine. At this point, it becomes a battle of ego and crushing what others have publicly addressed via blogs or the company newsletter.

How can a junior assistant, to the assistant director, have a better New Year resolution then the boss himself? Its only when this topic comes up in a conversation over dinner, with a client, that the boss halts his schedule, sharpens his pencil and calls in the secretary with a peewee skirt – the kinds that make legs go all the way up.

Focus now. Moments later, a verbal missile would enter the email server trajectory by hitting every employee of the organization. This would be the mother of resolutions, one that clearly defines what every flea must do in order to sustain their position. If this was a “real war”, it would look a lot like Sparta.

Much later, the second week of the first month, the wounded have left (you know, the no-more-twinkies-this-year kind people), and others (the people who you never seem to notice, even when they wear yellow pants) have already forgotten what it was that they promised publicly.

For the rest of us who were in a lazy boy this whole time, with feet up, a glass of Cognac in hand, and enjoying the show, couldn’t help but chuckle over the whole idea. Cheers!!

Published originally on GQ.


By Paul Syng

Paul Syng is a multi-disciplinary designer based in Toronto. He focuses on a problem-seeking, systems thinking approach that can take any form or function.