January 1 is a fairly stupid time to persuade people to resolve to better themselves.
I get the new beginnings cachet of the start of the year, but it comes just a week after Christmas, with its seasonal overindulgence habit and credit card impoverishment.
With highs and lows like that, is it any wonder that the hopeful soul may not be ready to lose 50 pounds, or take up origami, or quit smoking? Guilt can only take you so far when it comes to self-improvement.
Up to 40 per cent of American adults make New Year's resolutions, and 46 per cent of those making common resolutions (exercise, spending quality time with family, giving up Facebook) are 10 times as likely to succeed at the attempt compared with those who don't.
Using my dodgy journalism math, I guesstimate that roughly 18 or 19 out of 100 people make and keep New Year's resolutions.
Of course, my statistical source doesn't say for how long these resolutions last, whether two days or two years.
There is clearly room for improvement in these numbers.
The custom started with the Babylonians, apparently, who went to temple at the start of the year to promise the gods that they'd return borrow items and pay debts. The Romans did a version of this, too, thanks to their god Janus (after whom January is named).
In medieval times, knights took a "peacock vow" at the end of the Christmas period to re-connect with their commitments to chivalry.
These days we are less beholden to formal religions from Ba'al, to Zeus, to those other god guys as inspiration for embracing our better selves, so why not brighten up the desire for self-improvement with added sunshine?
Let's make the case for a June 1 Resolution Day:
Case 1: People have had five months to recover from debt and bad Christmas-season decision making, so crippling guilt — a tough impediment to moving forward decisively whatever the time of year — can be shoved aside;
Case 2: The bad weather is (hopefully) gone, and everyone is cheerful (or they should be) because of sunny days and added Vitamin D. This is a particular boon for out-of-doors and activity-based resolutions;
Case 3: Unless you are prepping for high school exams, you aren't under a lot of pressure and can give the New Summer's resolution more of your undivided energy. If you're prepping for high school exams, doing well can become your resolution. Win-win for students;
Case 4: It's not too hot yet;
Case 5: Thanks to the Solstice later in the month, the sun doesn't go down until way after 9 p.m., so there seems to be more time to keep your promises;
Case 6: If promises are proving hard to keep, you can distract yourself with the Stanley Cup or NBA playoffs, or hold a barbecue, or sit on the deck with friends and make everything seem relaxing;
Case 7: Unless it's a food-related resolution, there are ice cream rewards;
Case 8: Successfully carrying out weight-loss-related resolutions can lead to clothing shopping. Summer clothing shopping; and
Case 9: Many resolutions are simpler to execute in the summer — take a trip (check), be more involved in sports (check), and volunteer (summer is the season for Whistler volunteering opportunities).
We could go on, but I think you get the idea.
A June 1 New Summer's resolution would also fall into low season, just about. Whistler could host a weekend festival for fixing our lives, inviting hypnotists, therapists, and trainers to support all the resolution makers.
So it only remains for me set my New Summer's resolutions for the coming months. I'm coming up with about eight: including more exercise, more art, start a business, and get in touch more with those I love. Then there is read more novels, fix my bike and take old toys and junk to the Re-Use-It Centre.
Time to fire up the barbecue, turn on the NHL final (go P.K. Subban!) and invite over the neighbours.