Resolution-Free New Year

I’m calling this a resolution-free new year, and I’m saying it loudly because I feel proud that I’m bucking the trend. (I’m a Trend-Bucker! Look out, Trends! You’re about to be Bucked!)

But that’s not exactly true. I did make one, I’m just sort of embarrassed about it.

Here it is: I resolved to not just eat food to be polite.

I do this all the time. Maybe we’re having a small get together, and somebody brings over a snack, like, say, Lays Brand Potato Chips. I am under the (apparent) misconception that like if I don’t wolf down the whole bowl, snatching it away others people and making audible gobbling noises, the person is going to have their feelings hurt because their chip-bringing wasn’t met with sufficient enthusiasm. Like that person’s entire self-worth is wrapped up in what percentage of the bowl of Lays has been eaten.

I hate hurting people’s feelings. I never, ever play jokes on people. Ever. I don’t like making people look dumb. And that’s fine. But this isn’t hurting people, right? And frankly, it can’t be great for my cholesterol, I’m guessing?

So my resolution, in a nutshell, is this: Don’t risk having a premature heart attack to protect people’s feelings who frankly aren’t even noticing whether or not you ate the potato chips they picked up five minutes before coming over.

Okay, so that one aside, I’ve made nary a resolution. And lemme tell you something – that’s a feeling of freedom, right there. Why? Because it means I don’t have to constantly find new sources of motivation to keep a resolution that I never really wanted to make in the first place.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, because I’m currently doing this series for this Huffington Post based on a talk I gave one time, focusing on the difference between motivation and inspiration.

To me, motivation is a kick start. Inspiration is something that gets in you and propels you forward, every day. I don’t think they are the same. In fact, inspiration, if it is true inspiration, actually mitigates the need for constant motivation, if that makes sense. Not that you don’t need the kick-start – you just don’t need continuous restarting.

Even without making resolutions, I am trying to live life better. I’m already working harder this year, which I wanted to do. I’m finding time to get regular exercise – something I’ve been putting off. I’ve been motivated by a need to improve in those areas, as I talked about in my last blog. But I’m not fooling myself into thinking “Okay, since I’ve done this in the first few days of 2012, I’ll continue it every day for the rest of my life.” Not at all.

But what I am finding is this: the very act of writing about inspiration and motivation, reading books about it by brilliant minds (there are a ton of amazing books on motivation out there), and keeping a notebook with me to keep track of my own thoughts on it…well, that’s inspiring me. Writing about things keeps me honest, and inspiration is rooted in honesty. Honesty about yourself and what you really, deeply want out of life.

So in this Resolution-Free New Year (except for the whole being-polite-by-eating-potato-chips thing…did I mention that?), I’m off to a good start. I’m letting the things that truly inspire me, inspire me, and I’m not letting them go. I’m working hard at them.

I’m also sure I’ll falter along the way. But you know what? Who cares? Because they weren’t etched in stone, right? And maybe I’ll need a kick start along the way. That’s okay too. Whatever keeps us going.

And man, now talking about those potato chips has me craving them. Anyone want to come over tonight? Just to hang out. No need to bring anything! Unless you want to pick up chips on the way or whatever. No biggie.

By | 2018-01-19T21:04:18+00:00 January 5th, 2012|12 Comments


  1. Erin January 5, 2012 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    Conor I am dying to know where you grew up in Jersey City. I’ve lived in Jersey City for the past few years. I picked up Little Princes over the holiday weekend randomly because I wanted something to read on the train. (It was awesome by the way). I got to the Jersey City part and was shocked. I thought I was the only person in the world who lived in Jersey City. I guess I was wrong. So if you don’t mind telling some random stranger on the internet, I would love to know which part you grew up in (I live in the Hilltop area… near Dickinson HS. My kids babysitter goes to McNair though so thought that was cool)

    • Conor January 6, 2012 at 8:40 am - Reply

      I think it was called Bergan Hill, something like that? On Summit Ave, down towards Grand and Communipaw.

      I know what you mean, every time I hear JC my ears prick up!

  2. PM January 6, 2012 at 8:51 am - Reply

    A very inspiring article!

    • Conor January 7, 2012 at 9:12 pm - Reply


  3. Marcy Prager January 6, 2012 at 10:50 am - Reply

    Try dipping a potato chip in chocolate ice cream. Oh my goodness!

    • Conor January 7, 2012 at 9:12 pm - Reply

      I’m trying to take the calories off. I don’t need these temptations! But you know I have to try it now…Shoot.

  4. Kathleen January 7, 2012 at 8:58 am - Reply

    I came upon this blog after following a thread about your book, “little princess.” Your need to save the feelings of other’s is very familiar to me! When I was young, my grandfather bought my siblings and I a chocolate eclair every weekend (I think it was after church) and it seemed to make him very happy to make us very happy, and to “reward” us for being such good children. Well, I HATE custard (gross!), but I ate that eclair – EVERY week – so as not to hurt his feelings. I developed a habit of eating EVERYTHING ever presented to me, believing that it would be a “shun” of someone’s love if I didn’t. And I sure wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Naturally, I developed a weight problem as an early adolescent that carried me into adulthood. Through several attempts at weight loss and wellness throughout my journey, I learned that our family and surrounding culture expressed their love through food offerings, because they found it difficult to express it any, other way. (Heaven forbid should we say, “I love you” at random times!)

    We had this very discussion recently when gathered for a dinner with friends. I declined the homemade pumpkin pie because I truly didn’t want pie and wanted to enjoy the rest of my wine. When questioned by many around the table about my “diet,” I described the chocolate eclair experience, what I’ve learned from it, and declared that I no longer eat what I don’t want but I still “love you all.” The cook was STILL hurt and I don’t think the rest of the group (with the exception of my sister) actually “got it.”

    So, stay on your path and don’t eat what you don’t want (or need)! I support you! And, back to the objective of my visit to this blog, I’m looking forward to reading your book!


    • Conor January 7, 2012 at 9:13 pm - Reply

      I love this story, Kathleen! I’m so glad to hear others go through this. We can’t help but hurt people’s feelings, I guess?

  5. Sarita January 14, 2012 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    Hi! Conor,

    I’m reading “Little Princes” and I’m really enjoying it. I’m from Nepal and I like to “THANK YOU” for doing what you’ve done so far.

    • Conor January 20, 2012 at 8:03 am - Reply

      Thanks for reading Sarita!

      • Reneta May 23, 2012 at 2:28 am - Reply

        This poistng knocked my socks off

  6. Samual James February 23, 2012 at 4:31 am - Reply

    Very inspirational post once again I love your way of writing. Especially how name new year “resolution-free new year” is awesome. best taxi service

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