New Year, Same Me
Why I won’t be following the inevitable annual failure that is “New Years Resolutions”
A recent study conducted at the University of Scranton revealed that only eight percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually achieve their goals. Chances are, that at one time or another, you were part of the other 92 percent that had a goal which was more than likely forgotten by the end of the year. I for one, am totally against New Years resolutions. I personally have never stuck to them and have always felt bad about myself for doing so. It makes me feel like I failed at the one task I set out to do at the start of the year even though I may have done so many other great things which made the year wonderful.
I stopped committing to New Years resolutions about two or three years ago when I realised how fabricated the idea actually was. Why wait until the new year for a fresh start? Why not wake up tomorrow and decide to change your lifestyle? Why not consistently try to better yourself instead of waiting for January to come around (which is a depressing month in and of itself anyway). But hey, whatever floats your boat. If you want to commit to a 6am spinning class, followed by meditation while forcing All-Bran down your unwilling throats, go right ahead. But that all sounds a bit gloomy, doesn’t it? Well it needn’t be. All we have to do is resolve to be better human beings than we were last year, and that doesn’t involve any bran at all. Being a better human doesn’t automatically mean being thinner, healthier or even more charitable. It’s doing whatever makes you happier in yourself. Unless you have set a goal to commit to losing weight or shaping up, why bother with the early morning gym rises? You’re lacking in some much needed beauty sleep and are frankly hating yourself more and more every time that alarm goes off.
Another common New Years resolution destined for failure is Dry January. I don’t know about you but my Facebook wall on New Years Day was saturated (no pun intended) with posts from everybody self-congratulating themselves on taking part in the extravaganza. Only to be guilt tripped out of it for going out drinking a week later (“I only had a vodka and soda water though! On a diet sure!”). Also, it makes no difference to your alcohol consumption for the other 11 months of the year, so what exactly is the point? Part of the problem with this phenomenon of New Years resolutions is that we often choose the most unrealistic goals under the false assumption that we can just “be a completely different person”. The most common mistake our goal-getters make is taking on too much, too fast. Lets take the 5 most common New Years resolutions as an example. You’re going to quit smoking, lose 5 stone, never drink again, get a new job and buy a house. Yep, and I’m going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in my six inch heels. It just doesn’t work like that. You have to be realistic in setting goals for yourself — otherwise you’re destined for failure from the outset. If these are all things you want to achieve, then why not do it step by step, over a more significant period of time. Slowly cut down on your smoking and drinking. Start going to the gym sporadically then increase your attendance little by little. Start saving for a new house while looking for that new dream job of yours, but always keep your finances in check.
But we must remember that these are the 5 most common (and thus most failed at) New Years resolutions. If you have chosen one or more of these as your goal for 2017, sit back and think, “Is this really my goal?”, or have you just succumbed to the peer pressure of the inevitable “New Year, New Me” Facebook status. There are so many ways we can better ourselves that don’t involve the pressures of failing at a set objective. Why not vow to yourself that you’ll be a bit more open this year, talk to people more. Whether it’s striking up a conversation with an old man by a bus stop, or chatting more to that work colleague who sits alone in the canteen. You’ll never know who you might meet and remember everyone is fighting their own battles, so a little conversation can go a long sometimes. Maybe take out your earphones once in a while and embrace the world around you, take in the sounds, the smells, the vibrancy of the world you’re living in. Instead, apply brain to the bits of your life you’d like to change. Understand that a body denied food stores more fat, not less, and that a brain denied pleasure only craves it more. So if you want to commit to a new years resolution do it because you want to, and not because you have to.