Here it is. Here we go. 2015 is upon us and after a good few weeks of overindulging in cheese by the slab and wine by the crate, the topic of conversation falls to our resolutions for the year ahead. I've been involved in many of these discussions over the past week but the more I think about it, the more I am really starting to despise our annual, list-writing ritual.
It is not the resolutions themselves I hate. Losing weight, drinking less, getting fit, reading more, saving money - oh yeah, I could do with all of that. Yes please. But, why oh why are we so obsessed with the beginning of a year to kick them off? "It's a fresh start - a clean slate," I hear you cry. That may be true but then why has it been found that only 8% of resolution makers succeed?
That figure doesn't surprise me at all. I fall into the 92% bracket, for sure. When my friend asked what my resolutions were for last year, my mind went totally blank and I realised that I have never, ever seen one through. Crikey.
This is where I think I go wrong:
State of Mind
I am not in the right head space if I am scribbling down my list of aspirations while still high on cranberry sauce and the tightness of my jeans reminds me that the only exercise I have managed recently is walking to the pub and back. (Walking is generous).
Setting the Bar
Due to the point above, I get completely carried away with how much I would like to achieve and end up creating a list as long as my arm. Setting the bar too high is setting up to fail, and no one wants that.
Oh So Vague
When I say, 'I want to lose weight by June' what I really should be doing is booking to see a personal trainer and working out a realistic program which tells me the how much, the by when, and the how.
I want to see results quickly (/RIGHT NOW) which simply adds to the pressure. I get despondent and guilt-ridden if things aren't going the way I hope and this is the beginning of the end, as the temptation to quit heightens.
With the buzz of the 'fresh start' comes an unrealistic view in my head of how I will be at the end of the year: rich, slim and super fit. I romanticise about a total self-reinvention. Never going to happen.
I can totally appreciate how sharing your resolutions on social media or with friends can spur you on. As a defensive soul, however, I get snappy if someone asks how I am doing (knowing full well that I have given up in week three).
I am such a fantastic procrastinator, as many of us are. Put your hand up if you thought the New Year should start on the 5th January just because it was a Monday? Exactly. 4 days wasted already. Oops.
I think this is the main issue, really. The start date of the New Year panics me and when I decide something on a whim, it will rarely come to fruition. In my experience, the moments where I am most self-motivated is when I have spent quality time creating and developing ideas that I really believe in - that I really want.
I salute those who have made New Year's resolutions but I have to put my hands up and admit, it's just not for me. I'm not ready. You wouldn't play in a match without training, so I'm sitting out of the resolution game this year. We should be constantly challenging ourselves through life and I would rather work on some long-lasting, realistic and sustainable goals in my own time, without the 1st of January telling me what to do.
Oh, and while I'm at it I will have a glass of red because this month certainly won't be dry for me. *Hiccup*