I’ve kept a diary since the age of about 9 or 10 years old. And reading some of my young self’s past New Year’s Resolutions is quite amusing. Highlights include, ‘eat more broccoli,’ ‘be nicer to Mum,’ and ‘tidy my room.’ It seems I must have had a pretty decent childhood if those were my primary concerns.
But for a long time, I got out of the habit of making resolutions. Maybe this is because I’ve always been quite self-motivated a.k.a. if I felt I needed to do something, I would just do it instead of waiting till the New Year to make myself.
The problem is that resolutions have a bad rep. When you tell people you’re making resolutions, they either groan, or snort and say ‘yeah, but it never lasts, does it?’ People seem to set themselves up to fail at resolutions, simply due to the stereotype that resolutions are now something comical that we are expected to drop out of almost intentionally so we can have a funny story to tell people about the exercise regime we started but gave up on after a grand total of four days. In fact, I think you would get weird looks if you told someone in August that you had carried on this said regime. I think people would look uncomfortable, lean forward and tell you timidly, ‘those New Year Resolutions… you know they’re just a joke, right?’
To me though, NYRs have always had their pros and cons.
- They make you feel productive and positive
- If stuck to, they can have a beneficial impact on your life.
- Change is (often) good and it’s often useful to review the year and see what can be improved.
- The feeling of failure if you don’t stick to them.
- The depressing nature of NY, realising how lazy you have been and how little you’ve achieved.
- Getting stressed trying to stick to it, but knowing in your heart that you probably won’t.
Though, this year I have decided to make some Half-Hearted Resolutions. Half-Hearted because a) I haven’t decided if I want to keep them yet, and b) I’m not sure they are likely to materialise.
- Become a vegetarian. Or should I say pescatarian, because for some reason, I don’t seem to care about the well-being of fish as much. I just assume that because they have very little brain they feel very little pain. I could be wrong though. I will have to research this. Anyway, this isn’t the first time I have been pescatarian. I was one for a full year before university, but gave it up because I was paying to eat in catered accommodation and wanted to be able to eat exactly what I wanted. To be honest, I wasn’t a very good pescatarian e.g. the time I caved the first time I went to Nandos. It also doesn’t help that I’m from a very carnivorous family (my grandpa used to speed up to hit pheasants instead of slow down). Not exactly the best family to be a pescatarian in.
- Get published. This is something that I have very little control over. My book is written, edited, and polished to within an inch of its life. All that remains is for an agent to take me on, take on meeeeee!
- Decide what my future career and life plans are. As an anxious person, it’s often tempting to try and map out every twist and turn of your life, but I’ve tried to get out of this habit and take a more relaxed, Buddhist approach to life. I sort of know what I want to do; I want to be one of those people who writes books and maybe scripts for sitcoms, possibly also gets involved in charity events, or has the occasional appearance on QI. My mother, a careers advisor, doesn’t think this is a very realistic plan. She could be right.
So, what are you resolutions, and do you intend to keep them?