New Year’s Resolutions: Why we think they are utter bollocks!

January is bad enough, so why on earth do we make it a million times worse by inventing a bloody great list of things we need to do?  It’s dark, cold and miserable.  The Christmas decorations have been put away, we are dreading the credit card bill and our family is really starting to get on our tits.

Yet here we are telling ourselves that this is the year we are going to be thinner, happier, more successful and more fabulous than ever before.  Really?  You are rocking elasticated waists, lounge wear is your only-wear and if you aren’t in a UK Tier 4 lockdown, you know you soon will be.

So there you are, elbow-deep in a sharing (not sharing) bag of crisps watching Jo Wicks workouts in your PJs, telling yourself that the new diet and exercise regime will start as soon as all the Christmas food has been eaten.  Yeah right … like that’s going to happen!

There is nothing wrong with making plans or setting a few goals, don’t get us wrong.  You might decide that this year you are going to move house, change job or get a dog and that’s fine.  Just don’t set yourself unrealistic goals – Rome wasn’t built in a day and you aren’t going to lose 7 stone by May.  Happiness may lie in achieving things, but if you are setting yourself up to fail then you’re going to have a pretty miserable time ahead of you.

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If you are not careful, you can fall into a never-ending cycle of setting a goal, failing, feeling miserable, setting another goal, failing again and so on.  You just end up more miserable and feeling like an utter failure.  Life can’t be treated like business objectives with Gantt Charts and spreadsheets and daily action plans.  Yes, you might get things done at work and get a pat on the back for a job well done, but real life needs to be impulsive, exciting, rewarding – don’t be afraid of a blank page.

OK, so you may have mastered the art of slobbing out over Christmas. But that’s not a bad thing – we all deserve time out to rest and recharge our batteries. So what if you spent days glued to Disney+? In fact, if a goal was to watch all the Marvel movies in order and you achieved it, then give yourself a pat on the back for being realistic. But we all know what happens if we spend too much time doing that … even Thor turned into a beer-swilling chubber when he hung up his hammer for a little too long.

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You aren’t going to change overnight and become a different person on 1 January to the one you were on 31 December.  There is absolutely no point in wasting time on daydreams as you visualise that perfect life that is unobtainable.  You’re not going to stop smoking or drinking overnight, or wake up 3 dress sizes smaller because you only ate kale yesterday.  Running every day before work?  Not a chance!  Delete the Just Eat App from your phone?  Let’s not be too hasty!

Fuck it off.  Yes, you heard us. Fuck it off.  Don’t make a list.  Don’t tell everyone what you are going to do.  Accept that you aren’t going to set foot in the gym and you won’t be taking that selfie of yourself where you have both your legs in one trouser-leg of your jeans.  Stick one finger up to New Year’s Resolutions and say bollocks to it!  There … does that feel better already?

Now we’ve got that out of the way, you might be feeling a little lost.  Without the gloomy anchor of resolutions holding you back, your thoughts will start to drift with the tide.  Different, achievable, positive, realistic goals will pop into your head – like we said, there’s nothing wrong with having a plan. 

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If you insist on creating a list make it a list of things that you actually might want to do, not full of things you think you should do.  How about some of these for starters:

  • As nice as it is to be on first name terms with the Deliveroo delivery man, consider cooking food from scratch a little more often – just make sure you still treat yourself and enjoy a payday takeaway.
  • Make a list of books you’d like to read, then make time to enjoy them.
  • Use the takeaway money you saved to replace your bedding – hit the sales and treat yourself to a plump new duvet and pillow to snuggle up in as you hide away from the cold winter and enjoy one of those books.
  • Now your bed is a lush place to be, schedule in a few early nights and treat yourself to a little more sleep now and then.
  • Stand up and move about – we don’t mean massive amounts of exercise, don’t panic.  Working from home has got us in a few bad habits, and if you are starting to say ‘ooompff’ when you get up, then maybe you need to get up a little more often.
  • Do nothing.  Seriously.  Schedule in some time that you keep for doing nothing.  Block it out in your diary.  Then enjoy it.  Do with it what you will.
  • Talk.  To anyone.  It can be friends or family or even a neighbour, but have a real chat with someone that is not a Zoom call or a WhatsApp chat.
  • Laugh.  Laugh some more.  Laughing is good.  Do it as at much as possible.

But please, put the list away and don’t look at it for a while.  Enjoy January for what it is – the first picture in a new calendar, the first month in a new year and the first time you have not set yourself up to fail.

SJB

Published by So Just Be

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