A Time to Re-solve

by Lorne Mitchell on 03/01/2013

A very happy New Year!

It’s that time of the year again where we set goals and objectives and personal New Year’s Resolutions.  Sure, there are the normal ones about losing weight or taking more exercise or spending more time with loved ones.  Yet I have been digging a bit deeper this year about the whole process.

It stems from my two previous New Year’s Resolutions Resolutions and Revolutions in 2011 and On Sustaining the Gains (and Losses) in 2012.

Both were concerned with my personal weight.  Each year I have lost a decent amount of weight between January to March (between 7-13 pounds).  Each year I have put that weight on by the following New Year’s Day.  As I identified last year, it is not just about losing weight (I reckon I can do that now).  It’s about keeping it off.  That is the problem.

LM Weight Chart

It is not just my personal resolution of attempted weight-loss that this pattern can be seen.  As the Guardian so cuttingly put it earlier in the year:

“Failed plans fall into three categories. There are good plans that are poorly executed, as in the blueprint drawn up by Count Alfred von Schlieffen for the invasion of France in 1914. There are strategically bad plans that are well executed, as in Napoleon’s Russian campaign of 1812. And then there’s the coalition government’s deficit reduction plan.”

 It got me thinking about the whole word “RESOLUTION“.  Made from the base word “RESOLVE” – or “RE-SOLVE” or “RE-SOLUITION“.  The idea that we are solving something again (not for the first time).  That somehow we need to re-solve the problem because the first solution did not work fully the first time around.  Or we need to re-dissolve the solution, as it were, because the solution was too saturated with whatever it was we were trying to dissolve.

Yet it is so much more difficult to withdraw than to re-draw.  Much more difficult to cut-back than keep the status-quo.  It reminded me of an old military saying:

“Of all operations of war, a withdrawal under heavy enemy pressure is probably the most difficult and perilous.”

On this theme, it is recorded of the great Helmuthe von Moltke the Younger, that when he was being praised for his generalship in the Franco-Prussian War, and was told by an admirer that his reputation would rank with such great captains as Napoleon, Frederick, or Turenne, he answered: “No, for I have never conducted a retreat.”

So as we see the US apparently fall off the fiscal cliff and the UK economy continuing to groan on with its deficit, the need to resolve to re-solve the problem becomes even greater.  The solution is in the re-solution.  That we need to re-think our way through the problem is clear.  Yet it is unfortunate that the political cycles and systems in the West seem to get in the way of a sensible resolution, a sensible re-solution, a sensible re-think.  Democracy is stuck.

So, this year, I resolve to lose weight and find new solutions for keeping the weight off.  I’m not obese – but I am overweight.  And being normal weight is where I want to be.

So here goes for the third year.  I resolve to be in a different (better) place this time next Year and hit 2014 at 13st 7 lbs.  No, really!

 

 

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