Resolutions will only be broken.
Promises made to oneself in private are merely words and time wasted. They will soon be forgotten, eased, talked out of. They are okay to break, for we very easily forgive ourselves and are more than willing to say that tomorrow’s another day.
Contracts, however, are binding.
Promises physically written down, statements consigned permanently to tangibility by the twitches of your myofibrils and the ballpoint of your pen, are remembered. When set into stone, words become far less easy to go back on, for now they have weight, substance, definition, meaning. They have been brought forth to others; how could anyone find it easy to go back on words that have been both spoken and agreed upon?
Which is why this year, rather than resolutions, I have created a contract.
Sure, I still have a list of resolutions that will go up in my bedroom, but I’ve realized that I’ll never get them all done if I simply rely on the fact that I promised myself I would. The contract I’ve created to accompany them will ensure that I cannot stab myself in the back and fail at making a better me once again.
Here is a picture of the real-life, handwritten-and-signed, self-made contract.
And here is what it says in case you either, a.) can’t read my handwriting, or b.) are too lazy to click to enlarge:
“Life Contract: 2015
“I, Leah D——, hereby declare that 2015 will be my most productive year yet. Through sickness, health, stress, happiness, tragedy, triumph, failure, and all else that can happen, I will not–will never–stumble, falter, hesitate, or pause. I will not get lazy or relax or take a break. I will remain determined through it all, determined to dream and achieve like never before. This new year will not be another one that passes idly by, leaving me in the dust to wonder where my time was spent and why I’ve still gotten nothing done. No, this year will not be another dull chapter that merely sets the scene, that is only wasted space I barely remember, pointless filler not worthy of retelling. It will be exciting, brilliant, vibrant, and vividly remembered. It will be retold over and over again with just as much gusto as when it first occurred. Yes, 2015 will be ferocious–in all ways. I promise. I declare.
“And while I do have personal goals I’d like to achieve, such as maintaining my GPA, eating better, walking my dog more, being more tolerant (specifically of stupid/ignorant behavior), socializing more, praying more, and getting published, none of those matter to me as much as just staying motivated and keeping moving. For if I don’t give up, how could the rest not come true?
“So I, Leah D——, hereby declare to not quit. This year will be rough, but it will be worth it. And I, Leah D——, also declare that if I hesitate, am lazy, etc., come January 1, 2016, I will punish myself by spraying Dior Essence on my pillow before sleeping that night. I will therefore have to inhale the essence of the elderly all night long, a horrible, horrible punishment, indeed–especially for someone sensitive to smells.
“And so it must be, for so it is written.
“Bound by contract to her promises. Will be penalized if she breaks.”
And there we have it: motivation to achieve as ensured by contractual law. Succeed or else be subjected to the worst smell humanity has ever created.
But what about a reward?
To that I simply have to say merely achieving is reward enough for me.
Here’s to 2015! God bless, and good luck to all!