Laura from Cranbrook’s only resolution this year is not to make one…
I hate resolutions. There, I’ve said it. I hate the way that just because we’ve entered a new year and we’re one digit different on the calendar, we’re expected to become completely different people. As if, by turning midnight on December 31st we enter into a Cinderella situation where we’re suddenly unrecognisable from the person we were 60 seconds before.
Sure, I’m all for wanting to better yourself, but this shouldn’t be exclusively saved up for January. If you want to join the gym, cut out sugar or take up a hobby, don’t put it off until it’s time for a new calendar, do it when inspiration strikes. Otherwise, you’ll be one of the thousands of people who decide they’re going to shed the pounds, only to try one spin class, and then the only pounds you’ve lost are from your bank account.
My hatred for resolutions has been heightened in recent years, as friends become more and more self-righteous. I’m happy to support someone who wants to start a diet or take up fitness – to a certain extent. But when they refuse to meet for dinner because they don’t want to consume any calories after 5pm, or when the first thing they tell you is how many hours they’ve spent in the gym (while you were spending those hours cleaning up after children), it does get a tad tiresome.
I used to relish the change of the new year and the chance to challenge myself, but after one too many knitting failures, I realised that setting yourself unrealistic goals just makes you miserable, and January is already the most depressing month of the year – why add to that?
Last year, I tried to set myself little goals as I went along – rather than promising myself I’d be fluent in French by the end of the year, I instead decided to set myself small tasks that were easier to accomplish.
Going back to work after maternity leave meant that I felt a bit out of my depth, so I signed up to do an online marketing course so I could learn a few new skills and get back up to scratch. Some months I tasked myself with bigger challenges, and other months it was just to drink more water and less wine on weekdays.
Of course, everybody deserves to be happy, and if losing a stone or giving up complex carbohydrates is going to fill you with joy, then go ahead and commit. But, if you’re really serious about your new passion, you don’t need to start in January. Why make a rush decision to upturn your life, only to be back to your bad habits by Valentine’s Day, when with a little more consideration you could actually make some real differences?
Also, if you are feeling virtuous, don’t be smug. Nobody wants to see another picture of you drinking tap water at a party or doing a downward facing dog. Especially when they know that in a few weeks’ time you’ll be back on the gin and dancing on the tables. Or maybe that’s just me? Either way, make a change if you want to, not because the calendar dictates that you should.
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