New Years is a time for fresh starts and resolutions - the time of year where we all decide to try and change ourselves just a little bit for the better. Out with the old, in with the new so they say.
But as I thought of that saying I came to an uncomfortable realisation, what are we really getting rid of? Most of us aren't so naïve as to think that we'll actually change at all; we all know we'll relegate the chocolate to a cupboard and take out that gym membership just to break the sweet stuff back out 2 days later and cancel that direct debit the very next month. We think of it as spring cleaning our lives in the effort to try and prevent the inevitable mistakes that we make every year - we say the wrong things; get angry when we shouldn't; and most of us know what it's like to eat (way) more than our fair share at a buffet. The reality is that yes, we're only human and we will make these mistakes again and again; and yes, we're bound to make some pretty terrible ones in our time; but it's worth remembering that there's not a single person out there that hasn't horrendously mucked up - no one is ever perfect.
So that makes it, in my opinion, a bit of a cop out to resolve to change ourselves and forget those mistakes at the same time every year. It almost does a disservice to the person that we've been, and who we've evolved into since the last time we all joined hands and belted out Auld Lang Syne. A person isn't so easy to change as with a few words on paper and half-hearted promises. To me, it feels as if we're underestimating our own value by thinking that a few spontaneous words and ideas are enough to change entire aspects of our personality; you should probably give yourself credit for being a little more complex than that.
And that's why this year I'm proposing that you just don't bother. Oh, by all means resolve to try and strive to be a better person than you've been in the past, but there's absolutely no need to make a "New Year's Resolution" which will just push you into the clichéd trap that everyone finds themselves stuck in at this time of the year. Whatever you do, don't try and come up with a quick fix solution that 'totally could have solved all of your problems from last year'. A) You'll soon find that no such thing exists, and more importantly B) That only serves to trivialise all of the faux-pas you've made throughout 2014. You may not like it, but your mistakes genuinely do help define who you are; and moving on with a 'fresh start' mind-set really means those sticky situations were all for naught. You need to be able to look back on those errors and use them to mould yourself into the more eloquent, less clumsy and altogether more refined person you'll be in 2015.
I say 'refined'... Well we all live in hope.