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My New Year’s Resolutions


Image courtesy of Harold Arthur McNeill

2,790 words

Every year, near the end of December, I establish plans for the coming year. The centerpiece of these plans is ten resolutions – no more, and no less. I’ve had a lot of practice at this, and I’ve discovered that more than ten major resolutions is usually too ambitious, whereas fewer than ten is not ambitious enough. 

I take this annual ritual very seriously, because I see the transition from one year to another as an opportunity to re-think my life and change it in major ways. There’s no rational justification, I suppose, for thinking that this has to take place around the end of the calendar year. Theoretically I could make these plans at any time. But the beginning of a new year has important symbolic significance for me (and many others).

Also, as even the most ignorant are doubtless aware, the calendar year is not an arbitrary human contrivance. By the end of December I’ve made yet another journey round the sun, which is a genuine milestone. And as the year draws to a close, I tend to draw within myself and become more introspective. Partly, this is my Northern European soul responding to the frigidity of winter – which causes all things to draw within, in one fashion or other.

We like to think of the Christmas season as a “jolly” time. And reluctantly I must admit that this is so, even though I don’t even like the word “jolly.” But Christmas is also a bittersweet time tinged with melancholy. Have you ever noticed what downers most Christmas songs are? To see this, just hum a few bars of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” And think about that lyric: “From now on we’ll always be together, if the fates allow.” Or consider: “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.”

So, every year after the presents are unwrapped (and exchanged the following day for things I really want) I sit down before the computer and open a Word file named after the coming year. And I create my resolutions. There is an art to this, of course. I’ve already mentioned that the number of resolutions is key. But there are many other issues, and pitfalls to be avoided. The most obvious one is dreaming up resolutions that are too ambitious. For example, “Save the white race” should not make your list. Instead, establish up to ten concrete things you can do in the New Year to help save the white race.

Other resolutions to be avoided include things like “Get myself straightened out,” or “Get my head out of my ass.” These are far too nebulous (and, depending upon the person, quite possibly too ambitious). When establishing my resolutions I try to think in very concrete terms. As much as possible, the resolutions should be phrased in terms of specific actions.

At the opposite end of the spectrum we find resolutions that are too specific in a small-potatoes kind of way. For instance, I have a friend who one year resolved to “Drink more coffee.” Other examples include “Organize my bedroom,” and “Clean oven.” Of course, it may be the case some years that my bedroom really does need organizing and my oven cleaning – things I may have been putting off. I’ve solved this problem by creating a New Year’s “do list” in addition to a list of resolutions. The “do list” can include these sorts of one-off tasks for the New Year.

But resolutions are supposed to be significant changes to your life. They can be “tasks,” but they should be tasks that you intend to be permanent features of your life, or at least things that will take around a year to complete. As an example, for 2013 one of my resolutions is “Improve my German.” Why is this important to me? It’s mainly a matter of pride. I’ve been studying German off and on since I was a freshman in high school, but I’ve never gotten close to fluency. This year I want to buckle down and get much closer to my goal. New Year’s resolutions can be these sorts of things: finishing unfinished business in life.

But what you need to focus on is resolutions that involve major life changes. Part of this whole process therefore has to involve looking back over the course of one’s life (especially over the last twelve months) and making an honest appraisal of things. Suppose you think that you waste too much time and are not disciplined enough in working toward your goals. A perfectly legitimate New Year’s resolution would be “Get organized” or “Become more disciplined.”

Of course, there’s a danger that such resolutions, however well-intentioned, can fall into the “nebulous” category described earlier. This is why it’s vitally important to establish specific plans for actualizing your resolutions. And this is where the real work begins. Every year I not only establish ten New Year’s resolutions, I also create a plan for achieving them. This plan consists of specific steps or actions that, in effect, operationalize my resolutions. “Weaponize” might be a better term, in my case.

Here’s a concrete example from my own 2013 plans. I am already a pretty disciplined and organized person, but I have found in the last twelve months or so that I have slipped into some patterns that result in a fair amount of time being wasted. I generally go to the gym first thing in the day, and spend about 90 minutes to two hours there. But to get myself going, I tend to take some pre-workout supplement that’s got a fair amount of caffeine in it. The result of this is that I often crash midday and wind up fuzzy-headed and napping around 4:00 p.m. The obvious solution to this is to go to the gym at night rather than in the morning.

I resisted this conclusion for a long time. I thought I’d be too tired by then, and I thought the gym would be too crowded. Plus I still need those caffeine-laced supplements to get me going (especially if I’ll be working out at night). But will I be able to fall asleep later? So I persisted in this pattern of working out in the morning and crashing by midday. Until, a few weeks ago, I actually tried the experiment of working out at night. (Not an entirely new experience for me, as I did this years and years ago.) The gym is open till around midnight, and I found that if I got there by 8:00pm it was not that crowded. I had a fair amount of energy, especially with my supplements in me. And I could fall asleep just fine a few hours later (with the help of melatonin, valerian, and a couple of vodka and tonics).

Making this small change had a dramatic effect on my life. It felt like I had hours of extra time during the day – to write, read, or whatever. And I was no longer simply vegetating at night (watching television, usually). So I’m making this my official policy in 2013. But there is another important change I’ve decided to make. I can do a fair amount of my job at home, and in a given day there’s maybe two hours of work to do (if I’m diligent). I used to maintain the policy of doing all that work first in the day (after the gym, that is). Then, after that, I would write essays for Counter-Currents or read subversive literature.

The principle here was simply this: do the things you don’t want to do first in the day, so that you’ve got them out of the way and they’re not hanging over your head. It seems like a sensible idea, and I’ve recommended it to many people. But there’s a problem with it. Sometimes I would get really bogged down in doing all those things I don’t want to do. I would get up and take breaks, prolonging the torture. And, worse yet, I would sometimes get angry at the garbage I had to deal with. This meant that when I actually finished everything and turned to writing or reading for the Cause, I was out of energy, or wasn’t in the mood.

So, in 2013 I am adopting a new policy. I will write and read for the Cause first thing in the day. Later in the afternoon, perhaps in the 2 to 3 hours prior to going to the gym at night, I will take care of matters related to my job. And since I know I need to get to the gym, I will be motivated to work fast. I am even going to try to avoid, as much as possible, checking email till the mid-afternoon (shocking, I know). The adoption of these two new policies – going to the gym at night, and doing things I don’t want to do later in the day – is going to give me more time and energy for things that really matter. And this will help me achieve one of my New Year’s resolutions: “Use time more productively.”

Now, I fully realize that not everyone has the sort of job I do, and so the specific proposals above may not be applicable to everyone. But the basic principles here can be adapted to fit most situations. For example, if you’ve got a normal 9 to 5 job five days a week, plan your days off in such a way that you are not expending your energy first thing in the day on things that don’t matter. In the evenings after work, prioritize doing the things that really matter to you, not running errands all over town (set aside one evening a week to do that, or whatever).

Anyway, my example is merely intended to illustrate how I try to translate a New Year’s resolution into a specific plan of action. If you do not do that – and I emphasize this point – you will fail. And you will be like most people who establish New Year’s resolutions: you won’t follow through on them. The classic one, of course, is “get in shape” (or “lose weight”). The most that the average man will do to operationalize this is to buy a gym membership. Which he then fails to make use of, or uses for the first 2 to 3 months of the year, before giving up.

It’s not enough, usually, to establish just one action to operationalize a resolution: there needs to be a whole series. Don’t just buy the gym membership. Make a wise decision about when you’re going to go to the gym and on which days. And then stick to it. This is the magic ingredient I really can’t help you with that much. If you don’t have any willpower or resolve, there’s not a lot I can do with you. There can be no resolutions if you don’t have any resolve. Shame is a great motivator for me. If I establish a resolution, I feel motivated to stick to it because I fear I won’t be able to respect myself if I don’t.

Of course, sometimes resolutions can be mistakes. In the past, I have set goals and resolutions that, for one reason or another, just were not feasible. Or I picked the wrong year to undertake them. “Learn to read music” made my list of New Year’s resolutions several years in a row, but I just haven’t had the time to accomplish it. I have other priorities. And having a strong sense of priorities is very important here. If you establish a resolution that turns out to be impossible, or which you realize later on was just a bad idea – then eliminate it. There’s no virtue in sticking with a bad idea to the bitter end. But what I recommend doing is replacing it with another, more reasonable resolution. If you have ten resolutions and eliminate one for some reason or another in, say, February or March, create a new resolution so that you’re always operating with a solid ten.

None of this, by the way, is an excuse for the really bad sort of “quitting.” Under no circumstances are you ever justified in abandoning resolutions like “Use time more productively,” “Quit smoking,” or “Eat healthier diet.” But if “Learn Sanskrit” or “Restore foreskin” aren’t working out for you, then you have my permission to quit.

You will notice that my discussion of my own resolution, “Use time more productively,” was really all about having more time and energy to work for the Cause. And this is crucial. Because one issue I’ve not raised so far is exactly how one arrives at resolutions – at things one resolves to change about oneself. Most people, of course, go about this in a fuzzy way. They look in the mirror and think “Gee, I could stand to lose a few pounds.” Or they think, “Maybe it would be good if I took a class.” Or: “Maybe I’m drinking too much.”

Most people’s lives are just a kind of heap of disconnected elements. Work occupies the bulk of their time – work that generally affords them little or no sense of meaning and satisfaction. Piled on top of work, like so many bacon bits and croutons, are “friends,” “family,” “sex,” and that favorite catch-all term “fun.” (“I like having fun,” singles insist in their personals ads. As a friend of mine pointed out, this is like saying “I enjoy enjoyment.”)

But a meaningful life is one in which all those individual elements are shaped and selected in terms of how they advance a goal. A meaningful life is one in which even “fun” is significant, because it comes as a reward for moving closer to the goal. Life should basically be like a fighter jet, on which there is not a superfluous nut or bolt; nothing that does not serve the basic purpose of the machine. Of course, the seats need to be comfortable and there needs to be a warm and welcoming place to land, with a hot drink waiting. But these too exist to serve the mission.

Without some sense of mission, life is just a hotchpotch and a random accident. Having a mission enables you to prioritize and select everything in life. Does x advance my mission, or doesn’t it? And having a mission lifts us out of our petty preoccupations and insecurities. There’s no need to “find yourself” when you’ve found a mission that’s bigger than you; a problem to solve that makes your own problems seem insignificant.

Readers interested in how I arrived at my mission should see my essay “How I Found My Mission in Life [2].” But you are no doubt reading this website because your mission is much the same as my own: destroying this modern world and saving our people and our culture. Or is this your mission? It may be that you agree that these are worthy goals, but have you made them your own?

As this year draws to a close, I urge you to reflect on the life you are living, and whether you have a mission. And, of course, I ask you to consider whether there can be any mission more important that acting – some way, somehow – to insure the survival of our people and our culture. In terms of concrete actions, this can translate into many things: reading this website, encouraging others to read this website and others like it, writing for this website (and others like it), spreading the word locally, and – hint, hint – sending money [3] to support worthy causes.

Make 2013 the year in which you get your life in order, and put something that truly matters at the center of it. Make this the year in which you finally abjure the realm, at least in the privacy of your own mind. Shave your head and start wearing a lot of black. Make yourself tough and hard, in mind and in body. Let 2013 be the year in which you found Fight Club [4], or the League of Shadows [5]. Then you’ll have a reason to cut your hair short and trim your fingernails. Become Tyler Durden or Ra’s al Ghul. Start thinking about your 9 to 5 job as a cover identity (and read my essay “My Real Life [6]”). Start thinking about yourself as a secret agent, working within the system to destroy it.

In other words, make 2013 Year One for you, no matter how old you’ll be. Make it the year you’re born again, as a warrior for our Cause. This year you really must change your life [7].