At some point over the Christmas holiday, usually when you have raging heartburn and have eaten so much food you can barely move, you will decide to make some New Year’s resolutions.
The usual ones will be to do with health and fitness after abusing yourself for almost a month with Christmas nibbles. At the same time you wonder if you kept those trousers with the elasticated waist that were perfect for work having gained a few ‘lockdown pounds’.
The better people amongst us will look deeper, finding personal improvements they can make to become a better person spirituality or mentally.
Eventually, we arrive at a list of resolutions for the new year. The perfect list of actions we can take to ensure we lead a better life, become totally fulfilled and a jolly nice, well-rounded person.
Except we don’t. We make the list when we are feeling tired, emotional, miserable and a little bit pissed after drinking Bailey’s for 5 days on the trot.
‘Lose some weight’ was the first one I didn’t keep this year. Well that’s not true because I did lose some, but I also gained some because I yo-yo like most women. Did I fail because I have no will power? Or did I fail because of the negative word ‘lose’ and the fact it didn’t really inspire me?
Probably both. But thinking about it, ‘lose weight’ sounds like something bad should happen, like lose my car keys or lose my job. So next year, rather than set myself up for another failure, I’m going to reframe my resolution. Instead, I shall aim to shop for clothes in stores that don’t cater for my current rubenesque physique and stop buying badly made, shapeless tatt online. There. That sounds better already!
‘Be more organised’ was another challenge I set myself. I bought a diary, a wall calendar, planned everything in advance, promised I would buy birthday cards in batches and have them written out ready to pop in the post…all the things that make us feel smug and in control of life.
Then the family caught covid, husband lost his job and started a new one, boiler broke, dog was sick, fuel bills rocketed, life got stressful and chaos ensued.
I felt I had lost control as all my plans went pear-shaped, but in reality we never actually have it, do we? So next year I’m going to chill out. What will be will be. I’ll do the things I need to, such as organise the birthday cards, because actually that is a bloody good idea. But bollocks to everything else. Next year we shall go with the flow and see where life takes us.
After all this time, I think I have finally realised that this self-imposed control that I target myself with each January is having the opposite effect I intended. It’s almost like my subconscious self is wagging their finger at me, muttering “oh no you won’t”.
Perhaps my good intentions were more temptations, holding me back and making me miserable. January is hard enough without a new regime, right?
So, no. No more strict, controlling resolutions for me. Instead I will look for good ideas, achievable goals, feel-good moments and make a list of all the things I can do that will make me happy in heart and mind, things that bring comfort and contentment.
Now, where did I put those trousers with the elasticated waistband?